The Far West Local Health District has celebrated its volunteers and volunteer co-located services on Saturday 25 May as part of National Volunteer Week.
The celebration included a luncheon for the volunteers at Thyme on Argent and the presentation of the annual LHD Volunteers Awards by the Chief Executive, Mr Stephen Rodwell and long-time Hospital Visitor volunteer Mrs Pamela Lord OAM.
The ‘Far West LHD & Pamela Lord OAM Volunteer of the Year Award’ was presented to Elaine Johns and the Volunteer Team of the Year Award presented to the Dementia/Delirium and Palliative Care Team.
Elaine Johns has been a volunteer at the BH Hospital Kiosk for 18 years. Elaine is the Kiosk Supervisor for Monday and Friday, working from 4.30am till 4pm both days. Elaine’s dedication to the Hospital Kiosk is exceptional.
The Dementia/Delirium and Palliative Care (DDPC) Volunteer Team improves the overall hospital experience for people with dementia, confused older people and people with a life limiting illness. When staff are busy with clinical duties, and family or relatives are unable to be present, the volunteers provide person-centred support, upholding the core values of respect and empowerment.
A special award was also presented to acknowledge the Broken Hill Hospital Auxiliary celebrating 80 years of service this year. The Hospital Auxiliary, whose members are all volunteers and operate the BH Hospital Kiosk, make annual significant donations for the purchase of equipment for the hospital. Last year the Auxiliary donated $166,500 to the hospital to buy equipment, and donated $176,464 in the 2016-17 financial year. Donations by the Auxiliary have totalled over $1,611,000 in the last nine years.
Darriea Turley AM, Community Engagement Manager, Far West LHD, said it was always exciting to present the Far West LHD volunteers awards. “It is the fourth presentation of the awards since its inception and we congratulate all the recipients on their well-deserved recognition.”
Chief Executive, Mr Stephen Rodwell, said it is always a pleasure to have the opportunity of thanking our volunteers for all that they contribute to our organisation.
“Showing our appreciation and expressing our thanks to all our volunteers is a small gesture for the vital role they play in assisting the LHD provide a better level of care for our patients. The theme of this year’s National Volunteer Week Celebrations is “Making a world of difference” and our volunteers do this every day,” said Mr Rodwell.
Ms Turley said recent research shows that volunteers live happier and healthier lives.
“Studies show that volunteering is a healthy lifestyle choice. Association Professor Thomas Nielsen, University of Canberra said: ‘One of the healthiest things we can do is to volunteer. Volunteering leads to healthier, happier, and long lives. Sustainable wellbeing comes not from money or consumerism, but from having meaningful happiness in our lives. Studies show intimate links between generosity and our immune system. We now know that volunteering is not just good for our physical health, but for our psychological and emotional health too.’
Ms Turley also wished to recognise the Barrier Social Democratic Club for its generous donation towards holding the Awards event this year.