Celebrating our wonderful volunteers

06 July 2021

(Southern Health News, June 2021)

Forty-five years on, the Volunteer Service of Flinders Medical Centre Incorporated is still lending a hand, with more than 500 people volunteering across three sites at FMC, the Repat Health Precinct and Noarlunga Hospital - and raising more than $15 million for vital research and patient care along the way.

Our ‘vollies’ are the friendly faces that guide patients and visitors to the services they require; the welcoming faces in the child minding service; the ‘flower team’ that bring colour and sunshine to the wards; the helpful assistants in the gift shop; the ‘drivers’ of the ward trolleys that bring magazines and books to patients; the food and beverage preppers and servers in the café and retail outlets; the shoulder to lean on in the Emergency Department during times of trauma; and the supportive helping hand across the wards and patient areas. 

The service also offers governance support to the Spiritual Care Volunteers and the Veteran volunteers engaged in services at Jamie Larcombe Centre, Repat Veterans Wellbeing Centre and the Repat Museum.

The Pet Therapy program has also become a large part of the Service – growing from one dog operating for many years at Flinders Medical Centre to eight dogs across all sites. “Throughout the height of the COVID-19 pandemic our volunteers were deemed essential workers, providing wellbeing support to staff and consumers at FMC through the operation of selected retail outlets, and through vital frontline support in the FMC Emergency Department, Intensive Care and Critical Care Unit and the Guide Service,” said Justin Wharton, the Executive Director of the Service.

The Volunteer Service of Flinders Medical Centre is a vibrant, diverse and visionary service and because of that, has set the pace for many other volunteer services in Australia and internationally. 

“We are incredibly proud of what they have achieved – and continue to achieve – each year,” said Professor Susan O’Neill, the Chief Executive Officer of SALHN.

“Importantly, the Volunteer Service is a major fundraiser for SALHN’s hospitals and health services and to date, has raised an incredible $15.1 million. The donations have helped provide vital patient care and support through programs, services, research and equipment.”