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Volunteering – Something for Everyone

This week, from 20 to 26 May, we celebrate our volunteers as part of National Volunteer Week. This year’s theme is ‘Something for Everyone‘. 

NHW Volunteer Rhonda Taylor is wearing a dark blue flowered shirt and stood in front of shelving staked with information sheets and booklets.
Rhonda Taylor, NHW volunteer

Volunteering has been the perfect transition from retirement for Wangaratta’s Rhonda Taylor.

Having moved from Melbourne to make Wangaratta home with her partner in October 2022, Rhonda has volunteered at Northeast Health Wangaratta for 18 months across three areas of the health service.

Rhonda spends time in Creative Services helping collate files used for medical records and patient information, as well as a day with Meals on Wheels and time in Thomas Hogan Rehabilitation Unit.

“After retiring, I felt I needed a purpose and it was a way of getting myself out there, especially when coming to a new town and not knowing anyone here,” Rhonda said.

“I wanted to challenge myself and volunteering here felt like the perfect way to do that.”

In the Creative Services department, Rhonda helps make up some of the thousands of packs, forms and patient information that support the collection and flow of information for the service every year.

“Each area that I volunteer in is very different,” Rhonda said.

“In Creative Services, you have to really concentrate to make sure you don’t miss anything, whereas in Thomas Hogan it is more social and interactive, so it’s an opportunity to apply my skills in different ways.”

Patients in Thomas Hogan Rehabilitation Unit enjoy high tea and happy hour each week as an opportunity for socializing and a fun way to redevelop skills that may have been lost, particularly for people who have experienced a stroke.

“There are two of us that set up the tables and we have nice china cups for high tea,” Rhonda said.

“Once we have set up and served, we then spend time with the patients, just sitting and talking with them.

“You get to know some of the patients quite well because they are in there for a longer time than other wards.”

The third area of volunteering is Meals on Wheels, which Rhonda does once a fortnight.

“That is really rewarding in another completely different way, because you might be the only contact that person has for the week,” Rhonda said.

Rhonda said volunteering at an organization the size of Northeast Health Wangaratta was ideal for providing variety and allowing individuals to fulfil their personal motivations.

“People volunteer for any number of reasons – it helps you stay connected, gives you purpose, provides meaningful work, and an opportunity to develop friendships.

“I was motivated to volunteer because I wanted to continue doing something meaningful after retirement and be connected in my community, and feeling that I am doing some good is a great reward.”


If you are looking to volunteer, visit our website for more information