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Changing Communities, Changing Lives

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This National Volunteer Week (18 - 24 May) we celebrate and acknowledge the dedication and commitment of Catholic Healthcare’s 1,100 plus volunteers.

Although we have been unable to come together in person this year, we recognise all our volunteers who every day are Changing Communities, Changing Lives.

Sue Norman runs the Volunteer program at Catholic Healthcare and loves the way it brings people from all walks of life together.

“We have everyone from school children to retirees wanting to give back to the community,” says Sue. “Every year, our volunteers contribute nearly 30,000 hours - providing a priceless contribution to someone else’s life. Choosing to donate your time to others is such a rewarding experience that not only enriches lives, but also brings great satisfaction.

“While an hour of your time may not seem like much, it can make such a difference,” says Sue.

Volunteers can choose from many different roles and donate their time to residents within a Catholic Healthcare aged care home or to Home Care clients.

Like volunteer Maggie who has been visiting Home Care client, Jeanette, for the past two years. Before Covid-19, Maggie had been visiting Jeanette once a fortnight on a Saturday, providing companionship, home help and forging what is now a strong friendship. Maggie is pictured below right with client Jeanette - photo taken before social distancing.

“I started looking for volunteering opportunities in my neighbourhood,” says Maggie. “I heard about Catholic Healthcare from my parish newsletter and my friends told me the program had a good reputation.

“I have a full-time job and Saturdays is the only day I’m available.

“Time goes very fast when I’m at Jeanette’s place. We chat about what we have been doing, share jokes and funny videos… I do some trouble-shooting for her MyCH tablet and help her set the time on her collection of digital watches.

“Best of all, we both love crochet and spend time sharing our works. Jeanette has taught me how to crochet baby booties and I’ve shown her how to crochet beanies and scarves.

“Volunteering can give you a great sense of satisfaction and a more meaningful life.

Volunteering for an organisation like Catholic Healthcare doesn’t just help seniors in the community, it improves your own self esteem as you feel useful and valued by giving back to the community and helping others.”

“We all have a lot to offer,” says Sue. “Sharing a story or an experience, your attention or talent, is a meaningful way to spend your time. You're not just giving back to one person; you’re contributing to an entire community.”

Interested in volunteering?
Right now, Catholic Healthcare is seeking volunteers to provide one-on-one phone calls or letter writing to isolated clients in the community. You can register your interest in becoming a volunteer by calling Catholic Healthcare on (02) 8876 2100 or completing the application form on our website at https://www.catholichealthcare.com.au/volunteers/