Volunteering is its own reward

Graylands Hospital volunteer service chair Edna Prosser and volunteer service co-ordinator Faye Halma. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d411749
Graylands Hospital volunteer service chair Edna Prosser and volunteer service co-ordinator Faye Halma. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d411749

Last month, Mrs Prosser accepted a $16,500 Lotterywest emergency relief grant on behalf of the dozens of hospital volunteers.

After 37 years volunteering at Graylands Hospital op-shop and chairing the volunteer service committee, the 88-year-old said she had no plans to slow down.

‘When I first began here, we used to sew the clothes, but now we get so many lovely clothes donated to us I think I’ve forgotten how to thread the thing,’ she said.

‘This place has become part of my life and I would truly miss not coming.

‘I would miss my friends and the patients, and miss doing those little things that make them happy.

‘We always give patients a birthday cake and a little gift, and a present at Christmas. The girls at Woolworths know me well because I buy so many chocolate eggs at Easter.

‘It is just to make their stay a little better in the hospital.

‘Every now and then a patient will write a card out and say thank you, which is lovely.’

Volunteer service co-ordinator Faye Halma said the Lotterywest grant was essential to buy T-shirts and tracksuits, and provide emergency packs for patients when they first arrived with underwear, socks, thongs and phone card.

She said the volunteers also ran the op-shop, provided a ‘comfort trolley’ allowing patients in closed wards to buy cold drinks and snacks, organised an annual Do Drop In Cafe disco, and much more.

‘It is a nice feeling to give comfort to people who sometimes arrive with very few personal belongings,’ she said.

Graylands Hospital is currently recruiting volunteers, call 9347 6693 or email volunteers.gh@|health.wa.gov.au.