Robyn and Faye's Story
A transformative experience for everyone involved
The number one skill required to be a great volunteer is simpler than most people think.
Robyn wears many hats at HammondCare’s Woy Woy residential care home. As a HammondCare volunteer, she is a friend, confidante, coffee shop companion, tea server and ‘Bingo Lady’, to name but a few of the roles she takes on.
These roles may sound rather ‘everyday’. But it’s what makes Robyn and other volunteers like her an absolutely essential part of HammondCare’s mission to improve quality of life for the residents, clients and patients in our care.
Robyn started volunteering with HammondCare in October last year. Having lost her parents at a young age, Robyn really enjoys spending time talking with older people and getting to know them.
“It brings them out of their shell,” Robyn says. “Sometimes if we’re having a conversation, someone will join in when normally they would be sitting by themselves quietly. When we play bingo, others come and play.”
Volunteering is also how Robyn met Faye: a resident who is living with dementia. The pair quickly struck up a rapport – so much so that Faye’s family have given Robyn permission to take her on short outings, mostly to a coffee shop by the beach or at the local shopping centre.
According to Tania, Volunteer Leader at HammondCare Woy Woy, Robyn’s friendship with Faye is exactly what makes volunteers so valuable at the residence. It seems that being able to strike up a conversation and offer a friendly ear is often the most important skill a volunteer can have to offer.
“I don’t feel like I need to be paid for what I do,” she says. “I do it because I truly want to.”
“When a volunteer walks into HammondCare, they’re really coming in without a rulebook,” Tania says. “There’s no time constraints necessarily, or a job list.”
Volunteers at HammondCare are given the freedom to run different activities, and simply ‘be’ with people. Or they might use their talents to engage with residents. Whether it’s dancing, playing an instrument, organising an afternoon tea or singing songs from the past.
Volunteers are also trained and provided with ongoing guidance in their role. Tania remains in constant contact with volunteers at Woy Woy. They are specially trained to be flexible and tailor their approach, particularly if a resident’s health declines or their needs change over time.
What’s really interesting is that the support volunteers offer more often means it’s not just residents who gain from HammondCare’s volunteer program. Volunteers invariably say they benefit too.
This has certainly been Robyn’s experience. So much so that Robyn is now involved in training other volunteers at the Woy Woy residence.
To learn more about volunteering with HammondCare, click here.
Volunteer with passion and purpose
HammondCare is privileged to have approximately 850 active volunteers like Robyn, who give up their time to help improve quality of life of people we care for.
These generous volunteers contribute to the rich and vibrant life in our hospitals, care homes and in-home care by, for example:
- Providing company and friendship
- Art and music engagement
- Gardening and pet therapy
- Pastoral care
- Fundraising and administration
- Supporting physio fitness programs.
If you would like to learn more about how you could become involved in volunteering with HammondCare: