Give a little, change a lot

It’s National Volunteer Week and at Castlemaine Health we’re celebrating the incredible contribution volunteers make to our services.

This year’s theme Give a little. Change a lot, perfectly sums up the profound impact volunteering can have on communities. By giving a little of their time, once a week, once a month, or when they can, our volunteers bring about enormous change. Quite simply, we couldn’t do what we do without them!

Last financial year alone, 96 volunteers gave 200 hours of their time each week, assisting in all areas of care and service from social and respite activities through to patient support and rehabilitation, providing our music and pet therapy programs and supporting our walking and exercise programs.

In 2016 Castlemaine Health took over the Medical Assistance Transport Service (MATS), previously coordinated by the Red Cross. Twelve volunteer drivers provide transport for residents who have difficulty attending necessary appointments.

One of those drivers is David Williamson, who started with the Red Cross in 2007 and has continued as a volunteer driver for our Patient Transport Service.

David, who drives one shift a week and prefers the country runs, says he finds the work really fulfilling.

“You just hope you make a change in people’s lives,” he said.

“These patients are under a lot of stress and they are so appreciative of the service and so positive. Sometimes they bring a family member or carer along, but often they travel by themselves.”

David’s daughter passed away three years ago from a brain tumour and he’s passionate about hospice care and raising awareness of the shortage of hospice facilities.

“After my daughter’s experience, I have so much empathy for our patients,” he said.

“There’s so much you can do to help. I like to think if I was in the same position that someone would do the same for me.”

This Volunteer Week we want to say a huge thank you to David and to all our volunteers.

Like to get involved?

We offer many opportunities for community members to become involved in volunteer activities. Contact the Volunteer Program on 5471 1566.

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