Pirie volunteers recognised for years of hospital volunteering

Volunteers for Port Pirie’s Regional Health Service and Heartbeat have been recognised and thanked at a lunch last Friday for the thousands of hours of work they put in across the year.

Clocking up a total of 13,000 hours between 44 volunteers who generously gave their time-  several have now reached milestones of 15 and 20 years of service. 

These dedicated volunteers; Kaye Pritchard who has volunteered as a rainbow helper for 20 years, Barry McGree, who has been a volunteer driver for 15 years and Debbie Oehms who has spent 15 years volunteering for Hammill House received a recognition of service certificate. 

Sue Doyle the Port Pirie Regional Health service volunteer coordinator and Melissa Koch the community health manager expressed their gratitude for the volunteers of Port Pirie, saying that it really adds a richness to the service that they provide as professionals. 

“I think for our patients and our clients, it actually gives us a really good link to the community,” Melissa said. 

“The sorts of things volunteers help our patients with are over and above what we could provide from a health service. It is that kindness and caring they bring, they really do compliment everything that we do.” 

The volunteers put time into multiple areas of the hospital, some completing up to 20 hours a week and both Sue and Melissa say this event is a time where they can gather all the volunteers together and really express their gratitude for the work they do. 

“Some of them don’t want or need the recognition but we think it is really nice, especially with the years of service to show our appreciation with the number of years they have put in to the health service,” Sue said. 

Kaye Pritchard has volunteered for 20 years and was recognised at the lunch for her service and she says that she kept going back because of the people and the atmosphere. 

“I think it is important that we volunteer because you need that special help. Nurses can’t do everything, they look after the sick. When I started, I said I would love to be a nurse because I loved doing it so much.

“I feel very honoured to receive this certificate and I have really enjoyed every moment working in the hospital with all my work mates and meeting new friends as well.”

The health service are always looking for volunteers and if you or someone you know it is interested you can contact Sue Doyle at GP Plus, or ask for a volunteer pack and she will be able to help you get involved. 

Sue stresses that you can volunteer as much or as little as you like, it is whatever works for you and your timetable. 

“We have lots of different varied roles and people can volunteer as much or as little as they like. There is a role that suits everyone. We do welcome any ages.”