National Volunteer Week 2024 Australia: ‘Something for Everyone’
The Common Good

National Volunteer Week 2024 Australia: ‘Something for Everyone’

This week marks National Volunteer Week for 2024, and The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation (through its initiative The Common Good), is one of countless organisations across Australia that benefit from selfless people who donate their time to help others.

In fact, many of the life-changing outcomes we help to achieve, including lifesaving medical research and beneficial patient projects, would only be possible with those volunteers.

Currently, there are 115 Charlie’s Angels volunteers at The Prince Charles Hospital. They give approximately 620 hours of their time each week to support hospital staff, welcome visitors, and help patients find their way around the hospital. We’re also immensely grateful for the 39 wonderful volunteers carrying out similar, incredibly beneficial duties at Caboolture Hospital.

To help raise funds which contribute to groundbreaking medical research and cutting-edge equipment, we also participate in various events throughout the year, such as Ekka, Tour de Brisbane, Giving Day, and more. Volunteers are instrumental to the success of these events, and, ultimately, their help impacts how much support we can give to dedicated researchers and contribute to patient care initiatives and vital equipment.

About National Volunteer Week 2024 Australia

National Volunteer Week’s theme this year is ‘Something for Everyone’, with Volunteering Australia aiming to highlight that there’s a place for everyone in the world of volunteering.

We have a diverse group of people who volunteer for The Common Good in essential roles. Their reasons for donating their time differ, as do their qualifications and backgrounds.

We want to introduce you to just a few of the remarkable volunteers who give their time to make a difference through The Common Good.

Chris Morton, Board Chair 

chris morton

Chris Morton has a diverse background, with over 40 years of combined experience in the funds management, legal and property industries.

He has been volunteering as the Foundation’s board chair since 2018, and his passion for the role stems from a personal experience and, consequently, deep appreciation for the life-saving impacts of medical research.

Why did you take on the volunteer role as board chair? 

I had a significant heart attack and had to be resuscitated. Following that, I wanted to pay back in some way for the opportunity I’d been given. I mentioned that to Bernard Curran, the former chair of the Foundation, and he told me about the opportunity to serve on the Foundation’s board. At the end of the day, when I contemplated it, I had been given the gift of a longer and better life via medical research, and that’s exactly what we help to support. So joining the board seemed a very logical way to pay back.

I’ve sat on many boards in my life, but I’ve never sat on boards where the board members (like I’ve seen with the Foundation’s board members) have tears in their eyes when they hear about potentially groundbreaking research projects to support or they make a decision that they know will have an enormous impact on people’s lives.

Why should people volunteer?

Volunteering gives your life purpose, makes you feel really good, and maybe changes your own persona and your view on life. We all live in a world that’s very self-focused, and we need to stop and think more about how we can pay back.

Janette, Charlie’s Angel Volunteer

Janette, Charlie's Angel

  • What is your volunteer role?

My role in the Specialist Outpatients Department involves helping patients check in for their appointments, giving directions to other areas, and often walking with them to where they need to go. I joke that part of my job is “telling people where to go” (politely), and I always get a laugh from patients. Generally, I assist the staff with whatever they need and offer a smile and a friendly face to everyone coming in the door.

  • Why did you start volunteering?

Having worked in the hospital for 22 years before retiring, I enjoy giving back and interacting with people from all walks of life, helping to make their often stressful visits a little easier.

  • How has volunteering changed your life?

Since retiring, I have led a busy life doing things I enjoy, and volunteering has been a big part of that. I’ve enjoyed meeting all sorts of people, and just by engaging and sharing time with them, I’ve learned a lot about their lives and experiences. The world is bigger than me and my life.

  • Would you recommend volunteering to others? 

I would certainly recommend becoming a volunteer. It takes you out of your own life and problems for a while, and you can make such a difference for someone else with just a little effort. And it makes you feel good!

Carol, Caboolture Hospital Volunteer

Carol, Caboolture Hospital Volunteer

  • What is your volunteer role?

I have been a Volunteer at Caboolture Hospital for 17 months and thoroughly enjoy my role, which includes things like making welcome hospital packs and baby bundles, stocking refreshments, and people residents to their destinations.

  • Why do you volunteer?

I volunteer because I like to keep myself busy and help others. Adding another volunteer role to my day-to-day life is just another way for me to show that I care for others, not just myself.

  • Would you recommend volunteering to others?

I would recommend a volunteer role for all people who care.

Lesleigh Winks, Lung Transplant Coordinator QLD Lung Transplant Service + Tour de Brisbane Volunteer

Lesleigh

  • What was your role/duties performed during the Tour de Brisbane?

We raised awareness in the community about The Common Good, research at TPCH, and heart and lung transplantation. We encouraged donations to fund important future research that will directly impact transplant patients. Encouraging riders at the start line was also a fabulous start to the day!

  • Why did you volunteer for the event?

I was unable to participate in the ride this year and raise funds through my own fundraising page, so volunteering was the next best option! Throughout my career, I have been fortunate enough to also work within the transplant research team at The Prince Charles Hospital and have personal insight into the incredible achievements that are accomplished through hard work and dedication from researchers/clinicians as a direct result of fundraising and awareness completed through The Common Good.

  • How did volunteering make you feel?

Fabulous! I definitely recommend being involved to help raise awareness, support the riders and be a part of the day’s festivities. Despite working as a healthcare clinician, being able to give back to the community through volunteer work is extremely rewarding and something I encourage among my family, friends & colleagues.

  • What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering?

A few hours of your time can make a world of difference to transplant patients and their long-term health outcomes by assisting with funding valuable research hours. Grab a group of friends or family members and enjoy the experience; whether it be with the Tour de Brisbane or EKKA Strawberry Sundae Stalls, there are always lots of opportunities to have fun while meeting new people and supporting The Common Good.

Peter, Tour de Brisbane Volunteer 

Peter, Tour de Brisbane Volunteer

  • What was your role/duties performed during the Tour de Brisbane?

Primarily, my role was to represent The Common Good and greet any person who visited our gazebo and assist/respond to their requested needs, including the sale of previous year’s ‘Tour de Brisbane’ cycle jerseys and receipting donations. Additionally, I raised the awareness of our site to cyclists and supporters by suggesting and asking for donations benefiting cardiac and transplant research at The Prince Charles Hospital. I also took a bucket through the crowd, garnering loose change donations.

  • Why did you volunteer for the event?

I chose to volunteer for the event rather than ride to support and repay in kind in some way for the excellent care and attention I received from the surgeon, the nurses and doctors in the ICU and the ward, plus all the other support staff while at TPCH following my quadruple Coronary Artery Bypass Graft surgery, following a loss of consciousness due to a cardiac issue while riding my bicycle. The support from all during my recovery saw me discharged in just six days.

  • How did volunteering make you feel?

Volunteering gave me a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction in knowing the purpose of the funds raised would benefit others suffering from serious cardiac conditions. It is only through such research that advancements are made that improve survival rates and enhance the quality of life for those who have received a transplant or benefited from cardiac surgery.

  • Would you recommend volunteering to others? 

Yes, I would recommend volunteering to others. Giving your time is free, and giving a little back to your community has positive, visible, and measurable outcomes in the quality of life a patient benefits from your effort. Additionally, you may be the recipient of a new procedure developed in the research unit with donor funds.

Geetha, Tour de Brisbane volunteer 

Geetha, Volunteer

  • Why did you volunteer for the event?

To help raise funds for research, and it gives me great satisfaction to do volunteer work.

  • How did volunteering make you feel?

It gives me immense joy that I can contribute in my small way to The Common Good, and there is so much energy when you volunteer with a group of hard-working and dedicated team.

  • Would you recommend volunteering to others? 

Yes, I would for so many reasons. It gives you a purpose in life, makes you feel good about yourself, and is an immensely fulfilling experience.

 

 

Thank you to our incredible Volunteers this National Volunteer Week 2024

On behalf of the thousands of patients, families, researchers’ and staff at The Prince Charles Hospital, Caboolture Hospital and The Common Good, we want to say a HUGE thank you to all of our incredible volunteers.

Time is precious, and we’re grateful for the time you give up to help people ultimately live healthier for longer.

Want to give back by volunteering?

You too can make a meaningful difference for medical research and patient care initiatives by volunteering.

Take a look at our volunteer opportunities here.

Published: May 20, 2024

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