Nonie- a Volunteer with a Big Heart!
Covid-19 continues to affect so many communities, and while we have been quite lucky in Queensland, we have still certainly felt the challenges of the pandemic as we all find our new ‘normal’.
One of our Charitable Programs that has been most affected is our Hospital Volunteers Program.
We have a wonderful group of volunteers that operate out of the Logan and Caboolture hospitals, and they make a fantastic contribution to patients, hospital staff and visitors at these hospitals.
Nonie, is one of these volunteers and she has been doing this for 12 years! What an incredible contribution to the hospital, to her community and to St John!
What do you do in your role as a volunteer at Caboolture Hospital?
We are mainly doing escort duties for people visiting the hospital or arriving for appointments. We have just restarted making up baby bundles in the maternity ward and some paper work.
Why do you volunteer with St John?
When I retired from teaching I wanted to keep working with people but decided after all that time that I would prefer working with adults. Having spent a lot of time over the years as a patient I felt I could identify with people at a hospital. Our local hospital volunteers were run by St John and interestingly my Grandfather had been a member in Victoria in the early 1900’s. I have also visited Malta and the original hospital there.
What has been the most challenging part of volunteering throughout the pandemic?
It hasn’t really been challenging more just frustrating. We were off for so long and then off and on twice since then. We lost a lot of good people over this time because they were on Centrelink benefits and had to find other places to volunteer. We have also had a lot of activities curtailed and have been unable to visit the wards. I think it made me feel that I was no longer useful because we weren’t allowed to attend and I knew how hard it must have been for patients during those long days without seeing anyone.
What do you love most about volunteering?
I love the people, meeting them and hearing their stories. Also trying to help them and offer a friendly face and a kind word for people who are often stressed and anxious. And of course the friendships with other volunteers.
“I think it made me feel that I was no longer useful because we weren’t allowed to attend and I knew how hard it must have been for patients during those long days without seeing anyone” – Nonie Watt
If you are considering volunteering and would like to give some of your time to your community, please reach out to our team, or visit the volunteer portal for current opportunities.