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Celebrating National Volunteer Week

Published:  22 May 2020

Eight years ago, Robyn Hegge stepped away from a 35-year career as a teacher and looking to still do something meaningful for others joined the Townsville Hospital Foundation as a volunteer.

Since then she has also been a consumer representative on several steering committees, advisory groups and community partner programs at Townsville University Hospital.

Robyn is one of thousands of Australians who have been honoured during National Volunteer Week which finishes today.

“I started with the Townsville Hospital Foundation after I heard a radio announcement looking for volunteers,” she said.

“My mother had died, and I was looking for contact with people but had made the decision that I didn’t want to go back to teaching.

“I knew I still wanted to give and when I heard the radio announcement about volunteering it seemed like the perfect solution.

“I started in oncology making cups of tea and talking to people and then the chance of another day volunteering came up, so I started in the hospital foyer which I loved.”

Robyn said the best thing about volunteering was the opportunity to contribute.

“Volunteering has let me make a contribution to the hospital, to hospital life and, in some small way, to the way the hospital runs,” she said.

“I get to meet lots of lovely people and to help them when they’re not having their best day. 

“My knowledge of hospital life has grown so much, and this has allowed me to be an advocate for what we do here.

“I believe in this hospital and what it tries to achieve; there are many good people working here.”

Heath service chief executive Kieran Keyes said volunteers were often the first impression visitors and patients had of the hospital.

“It’s a wonderful first impression and we are truly appreciative of their contributions,” he said.

“I’d also like to thank those in our communities right across the health service who put their hands up to volunteer their time on our various hospital and health service committees and working groups; their input is so important to help us deliver better care.”

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