140th Heroes: The Bundaberg Duo Leading with Compassion

News from St John - 16 Jun 2023

For the past 11 years, Sheryll and Jim have dedicated their time as volunteers for St John Ambulance Queensland.

They have done just about everything from Community Friendship calls to driving buses to coordinating activities for clients.

It’s fair to say they’ve made a significant impact on the lives of those they assist.

But they say it’s been a two-way street in their volunteering journey bringing them immeasurable happiness and joy by witnessing the positive transformations right across the Bundaberg community.

Retirement and a Desire to Help:

Upon retiring from a successful career in sales, Sheryll and Jim refused to settle into a sedentary lifestyle.

Instead, they actively sought ways to continue helping people, drawing from their own experiences.

Their ease in interacting with others led them to pursue volunteer work, where they found fulfillment in lending a helping hand to those in need.

Bringing Smiles and Laughter:

As volunteers, Sheryll and Jim find immense satisfaction in seeing their clients smile and laugh.

“I like to think we bring happiness and joy to our clients otherwise challenging days,

It is small moments like a smile or a kind word that reinforce the difference we are making,” laughs Sherryl.

A Heart-warming Thank You:

During one of their recent social trips in Bundaberg, a lady stood up in the bus and unexpectedly expressed her gratitude to Sheryll and Jim for all their efforts.

A powerful reminder of the profound impact they have on those around them,

“It is moments like these that reaffirm our commitment and motivate us to continue what we are doing, and encourage others to come and have a laugh with us too,” adds Jim.

A Two-Way Relationship:

As volunteers, Sheryll and Jim provide support to individuals facing social isolation and mental health challenges.

Many of their clients have no family nearby, which makes their interactions more meaningful.

“These clients talk and interact with us as if we are family, I like to think we provide them with a sense of comfort and purpose,

By sharing meals together and engaging with them in a relaxed setting greatly contributes to their clients’ mental well-being,” says Sherryl.

Expanding their Impact:

Sheryll and Jim’s passion for helping others extends beyond their local community.

They express a desire to encourage more individuals to volunteer in rural regions, recognising the importance of personal, in-person interactions, especially among the elderly.

They believe that personal contact is vital for smooth communication, dispelling misconceptions, and providing much-needed care and consideration to individuals, including those with dementia.

The St John Ambulance  Difference:

As part of the renowned global organisation, Sheryll and Jim take pride in the St John Ambulance point of difference—genuine care and concern for their clients.

They go above and beyond to ensure the comfort and well-being of those they assist.

Their dedication to providing reliable service, personalised care, and upholding the organisation’s esteemed reputation is at the core of their mission.

Creating a Close-Knit Community:

Sheryll and Jim describe their volunteer group as a little family—a close-knit community that functions as a smaller version of St John Ambulance Queensland in regional Queensland.

It’s a bond they share with fellow volunteers and adds to the sense of fulfillment they experience while helping others.

Through their compassionate efforts, they have fostered a supportive environment across Bundaberg to all they serve and befriend.

“To enable Sherryl and Jim to continue their fulfilling work please do so by donating to St John.”