Volunteering provides Nora purpose
16 May 2023At St John of God Subiaco Hospital, 69 volunteers donate their time each week to provide vital assistance and support to caregivers, patients and visitors to the hospital across various roles, wards and departments.
Nora has been volunteering at the hospital for 18 years and is currently offering assistance to the Endoscopy Unit, where she has formed a close bond with the caregivers, who treat her as family.
It was more than 20 years ago when Nora began regularly visiting St John of God Subiaco Hospital with her husband.
Nora’s husband was a patient on and off for nine months before he unfortunately passed away.
“I was just so pleased with the way the hospital looked after him in his final year,” Nora said.
“For the first two years after he passed, I just didn’t feel like I wanted to go out and about, or do anything.”
After some time, Nora summoned the courage and strength to turn things around and seek purposeful use of her time.
With a desire to make a positive impact, she ultimately decided that the hospital where her husband had received his care would be an ideal place for her to contribute by volunteering her time.
Nora began her volunteering journey at the old St John of God House within Raphael Centre, which has now expanded into Raphael Services.
“I started off looking after the babies and toddlers of mothers who were going to Raphael Centre for classes. This was perfect as the classes ran through the school term and I was looking after my grandchildren at the time,” Nora said.
“I made a lovely group of friends there and we still meet for coffee, even after all these years.”
Nora’s volunteering journey led her to the Endoscopy Unit, where she has remained for nearly a decade.
“I know all the nurses in the unit very well and I’m treated as part of the team.
“I was one of the last stood down during COVID and one of the first to be asked back – they tell me it’s hard to keep me away from this place.”
When asked why she volunteers, her answer was simple.
“When you get to my age you start to think you’re past your used by date, however, I don’t feel like that when I’m here because the caregivers and patients appreciate the work that I do.
“When I arrive with a cup of tea or coffee and some sandwiches for Endoscopy patients, who most likely haven’t eaten for a couple of days, I’m the most popular person around.”
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