Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) is calling for community members to join the Healthcare Helpers volunteer program, with a range of roles available in health facilities for 2024.
Applications are now open for volunteer roles supporting patients, visitors and healthcare staff in facilities in Tweed, Nimbin, Ballina, Lismore, Maclean, Grafton, Bonalbo, Urbenville and Kyogle.
NNSWLHD Volunteering and Fundraising Manager, Claire Quince said the volunteers support health staff and improve the experiences of patients and visitors.
“After welcoming 30 new Healthcare Helpers to Lismore, Grafton and Maclean Hospitals in June this year, we are now expanding the program to the District’s other health facilities,” Ms Quince said.
“In addition to meet and greet roles in hospital public areas, we are introducing companion volunteers to provide social support to patients undergoing surgical procedures, cancer treatment and dialysis rehabilitation, as well as new mothers in the maternity ward.
“Our residential aged care facilities at our Multi-Purpose Services are also recruiting companion volunteers to provide social support and assist with outings for aged care residents.”
Lismore resident Nelly Luza Condori, originally from Peru, decided to volunteer because she wanted to collaborate with the community and expand her skills.
“I can meet new people and interact with them, it’s a great opportunity to develop social skills and improve my English as well,” Ms Condori said.
“Don’t hesitate to do it. Being a volunteer is hugely rewarding, the satisfaction you feel when being able to help is priceless.”
Murielle Cook, who volunteers at Grafton and Maclean hospitals, said the appreciation she receives from patients and staff members is a huge boost.
“I find helping my community, nurses and patients so fulfilling and important to me,” Ms Cook said.
“The reward of big smiles from patients and nurses, the thanks and support you get, is so rewarding.”
The Tweed Valley Hospital is looking for volunteers to be ready to go when the new facility opens in 2024.
Anyone over the age of 18, from any background or walk of life is encouraged to apply, and no previous experience is necessary.
“We want our volunteer community to reflect the diversity of our community,” Ms Quince said.
All volunteers undergo orientation and training to ensure they are well-prepared for their roles.