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Celebrating our volunteers who ‘make a world of difference’

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A chance discovery of a shared love of poetry led volunteer, Danielle, to strike up a friendship with 82 year old Emmaus Village resident, Brian. Both are keen writers of poetry and share their poems with each other whenever they get a chance. Danielle first met Brian when her grandfather was a resident of Emmaus and now she is a volunteer helping Brian scribe his poems and storing them in folders for future safe-keeping.

Brian loves to write poetry about sport, finding and losing love, his life, and dreams to play rugby league for the Parramatta Eels. Brian even wrote a poem for Danielle’s grandfather who recently passed away and which she read out at his funeral.

“I have had two strokes so talking about and writing poetry keeps my mind active,” says Brian. “It’s always a good day when Danielle visits - we share our work and ideas and it helps me to relive life memories.”

This week Catholic Healthcare recognised its 1,000 plus volunteers with a special National Volunteer Week morning tea at Macquarie Park.

David Maher, Managing Director, welcomed and thanked the volunteers present, “on behalf of the residents, clients and patients you care for. Our volunteers come from all walks of life and locations but the one thing you have in common is a commitment to make a world of difference.”

Therese Adami, General Manager, Home and Community Services, spoke of how “there are those who can and those who do – volunteers are the ones that do.”

Sue Norman, Volunteer Manager, recognised all the different ways volunteers are making an impact – volunteering at our day care centres, for the phone support line, providing transport, admin and IT support, visiting residents in aged care, providing home visits, pastoral care and university student placements.

“Catholic Healthcare employees pitched in making sure the volunteers felt welcome and appreciated,” says Sue. “It was lovely to see senior management serving food, tea and coffee – it created a beautiful vibe and the volunteers felt loved and pampered.”

A volunteer commented saying “it felt like we are a part of a lovely organisation and someone has got our back.”

Pictured above (l-r) are Sue Norman, volunteers Mark and Rosie, David Maher, and volunteer Cherie.