Volunteer stories


Meet some of our valued volunteers and hear their rewarding experiences at Epworth.

To learn more about volunteering opportunities at our hospitals, see the volunteering page.

Gill, patient support volunteer at Epworth Eastern

volunteer-gill.jpgGill has been volunteering with us for four years and frequently brings guide dogs in training to Epworth to comfort patients.

Four years ago I answered an advertisement in the local paper for volunteers to visit patients at Epworth Eastern. My first contact was with Frances Yucedag, our past volunteer coordinator, who arranged our initial training. As I was raising a guide dog puppy, Steffi, at the time I took her with me on my rounds. She and the puppies which succeeded her were much appreciated by patients and staff alike.

I try to spend time with patients who are a long way from home and may have few visitors. We might chat about family pets, music or iPads. Sometimes I am asked to get a cup of tea, find some soap or a pen or arrange flowers. I am pleased to help make patients more comfortable. More recently I have been interviewing Department of Veterans’ Affairs patients about extra help they may need. It is an honour to represent the hospital in this way.

My role has expanded to include some of my other interests. For example, for the past two Christmases together with the pastoral care team I have organised a group to sing Christmas carols around Epworth Eastern. It has been moving and inspiring for me and fellow choristers, and enthusiastic singers are always welcome! I have come to regard my fellow volunteers as friends.

I am proud to be considered, as one doctor recently described me, as ‘part of the care package of the hospital’.

Trevor, gardening volunteer at Epworth Freemasons

Trevor has been volunteering with Epworth and the former Freemasons Hospital for a combined 11 years.

As a member of the Freemasons Hospital Association I was asked if I would clean up the ground floor courtyard garden. The volunteer gardeners now maintain all garden areas and it gives us great satisfaction to hear praise from both visitors and patients alike. Many patients find comfort in viewing the garden.

Bruce, patient support volunteer at Epworth Richmond

volunteer-bruce.jpgBruce travels on the V-Line train all the way from the town of Woodend in regional Victoria to volunteer with Epworth. He’s been with us for 10 years.

I volunteer because I was asked and overall because of the treatment I received when having life saving surgery in Epworth.

What I have learnt is, patients also need someone other than a doctor who might wonder about prognosis, or the family who worries and cares, the friend who asks “when are you getting out of here so we can have a beer?”

They also need someone who can say “g’day, who are you? Where are you from and what have you done in your life?” Raising questions about the person, raising an opportunity to share their life and talk about something rather than their current problem. Overall to, perhaps, have a laugh.  What other reason could I need to volunteer here?

From a human resources administration volunteer who has been at Epworth for six years:

After retiring from the finance area with a commercial company, I chose to volunteer in the people-caring area. Having recently experienced the patient care and service at Epworth Eastern, I decided to offer my skills in an administration area. During the six years in the human resources department at Epworth Eastern the range of tasks offered do satisfy my interest and availability needs. All staff are most helpful and friendly and I am able to appreciate the Epworth efforts to further develop the growth in patient care.

To learn more about volunteering opportunities at our hospitals, see the volunteering page.