07 Jul Volunteer Profile by Pam Robb
Volunteer Profile – by Pam Robb
As a kid volunteering was a way of life, be it Meals on Wheels, Church or Institute for the Blind, and Dad was always volunteering his opinion whether required or not!
Volunteering was a natural progression for me when I left work. I had to do something to stimulate me mentally, so I guess in a way maybe volunteering is considered to be a selfish move in some regards.
I was aware of the strong band of volunteers available to me in my past occupation as a Registered Nurse/Midwife at Timboon and District Healthcare Service (TDHS); there was always someone available to run bloods to pathology out of hours or transport patients over to Warrnambool for an x-ray when other transport options were unavailable. Sometimes a volunteer was needed to take a newly discharged patient home via the supermarket and or pharmacy, because they lived alone and didn’t have a family member to call upon. So I was aware of the uniqueness of volunteering and also the fragility of this uniqueness if the numbers decreased.
When I applied to become a volunteer at TDHS I really had only one thing I thought I could do and that was delivering Meals on Wheels. So off I went into the world of volunteering. The first things I learnt were ‘don’t be a wee bit late or the troops get restless, must have something to carry meals with as they are hot and don’t give the ‘monitor meal’ to anyone, try to find them in the book and swear to yourself you have never heard of this person so they must be new! Always remember to close your boot before you take off and most of all take a couple of straws in case the perforated lids on the soup containers break.’
I ‘survived’ 2 years (and so did the clients) and then I applied for the Meals on Wheels Volunteer Coordinator role. Having a coordinator gives the volunteers a sense of ownership and very rarely have we been unable to fill the roster by swapping volunteer days. But if and when this occurs, the wonderful staff at TDHS – domestic, nursing or administration – have jumped in to save the day, for which I am truly grateful.
I have only been a volunteer for a relatively short time compared to many others on the famous roster. I really appreciate the dedication displayed by these volunteers who strive to get the meals out hot and on time to those that rely on them every day.
I personally enjoy delivering meals in the community. It has enhanced my life and I hope that I do the same by just saying G’day, how’s the family, did your team win? The Meals on Wheels volunteers help break up what can be a very long lonely day for many in our community.
Consider volunteering for the Meals on Wheels Roster! You will be amazed at what you gain from it. Your commitment is only 3-4 times per year, a couple of hours each time.
TDHS always needs the assistance of more volunteers for Community Driving, Meals on Wheels and Social Support Group so if you feel inspired by Pam’s story and you can spare some time to join our valuable volunteer team, please contact Julie-Ann Stewart on 5558 6000.