Hospital volunteers ‘give a little change a lot’

Category: Latest News
Tuesday 29 May 2018
WGHG celebrated what it means to 'give a little change a lot' thanking volunteers who work across the hospital and aged care residences.
WGHG has more than 100 active volunteers who work in a diverse range of roles from staffing community Op shops at Drouin and Trafalgar to providing activities at Cooinda Lodge and Andrews House aged care residences.

Volunteers also run a mobile book trolley from the hospital delivering books and reading material to patients and residents.

Other volunteers assist palliative care services, community rehabilitation programs, provide advice and feedback on healthcare services or make trauma teddies and crafts for young patients and babies.

Volunteers contribute many skills and expertise to our health care services.
Here are some of our quiet achievers:


Photo: Cooinda Lodge resident June enjoys a visit from volunteer Vicki and Snuffles the friendly pooch

Vicki and Snuffles are regular visitors to Cooinda Lodge Nursing Home at Warragul. “It is such a great feeling to be able to help other people. When Snuffles walks through the door the residents and staff light up. Everyone has a smile on their face,” Vicki said.


Photo: Volunteer Sue (pictured centre) with Andrews House Lifestyle Coordinator Merita Rawlyk (left) and resident Jeff.

A cup of tea and a chat might not sound much, but a regular visit to an elderly person to share conversation and life experiences can be the friendship they need to brighten their day. Andrews House has a dedicated group of volunteers who help out with a range of activities including crafts, bowling, outings and events.


Photo: WGHG CEO Dan Weeks with Drouin Auxiliary Op Shop Committee members May Aitken, Joy Baxter and Carol Mallows.

Mary Aitken, Joy Baxter and Carol Mallows are familiar faces at the Drouin Auxiliary Opportunity Shop coordinating a group of dedicated volunteers who sort, price, fold and sell thousands of pre-loved items to raise money for West Gippsland Hospital.

Joy (pictured centre) has been volunteering at the Opportunity Shop for 18 years. “I began volunteering after my husband passed away and haven’t stopped. I love it. It has kept me active and given me a real purpose.”


Glenys Brennan is President of the Trafalgar Opportunity Shop and has been volunteering for 21 years.
“We have a team of about 15 volunteers who work extremely hard but we all love it. Many of us couldn’t do without this place. It keeps us active and social. Sales from the Op Shop are donated to Andrews House aged care residences at Trafalgar and the Trafalgar Youth Resource Centre.


David Steele and Don Hastings are quiet achieving wood workers who volunteer in our wood working room to help people requiring rehabilitation after surgery, stroke, or other health conditions.

“It’s good to be able to help others re-build their confidence and coordination by working with wood. People can start with something simple and build their skills. Clients make a range of items including lady susan table servers, wood parquetry and toys.”


Photo: Volunteers Bev Dowie and Shirley Grove sort books for the weekly Book Trolley at WGHG.

Each Wednesday, volunteers wheel the book trolley laden with various reading materials through the hospital and Cooinda Lodge Nursing home.
Patients and aged care residents can borrow books free of charge.
Shirley and Bev said they enjoyed connecting with people.
“Many of the aged care residents are avid readers and look forward to our visits. Others who find it difficult to read print can enjoy the many picture books we offer,” Shirley said.

If you want to become a volunteer with WGHG phone 03 5622 6011 and experience the joy of giving.