Greenslopes Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care

AGE IS NO BARRIER FOR GREENSLOPES’ VOLUNTEER HEROES

News

Age is no barrier for Greenslopes’ volunteer heroes

Oct 14, 2021

Blair Smith may have just celebrated his 90th birthday but age certainly isn’t slowing him down. In fact, he still wakes up at 5am to catch two buses and a train to make his way from his Newmarket home to Greenslopes Private Hospital, where he volunteers every Tuesday and Friday on the information desk.

“The distance is no trouble, we lived in Charleville so I’m used to travelling long distances. Besides, no one makes me do it, I get pleasure out of helping people, and it keeps me young,” Blair humbly recalls.

Blair is among the incredible team of volunteers who donate more than 30,000 hours each year to Greenslopes Private Hospital. Their contributions include staffing the information desk, delivering flowers to the wards and transporting patients on the GPH Express Courtesy Bus.

Volunteer Coordinator Simone Slater said around 150 volunteers help out at the hospital - and their contributions are amazing.

“The dedication shown by our volunteers is outstanding. They are 100% committed and even through the difficulties of COVID-19, nearly all of them have continued to support the patients, visitors and staff and they’ve adapted to the new way of volunteering,” Simone said.

Some of the volunteers are also members of the Diggers’ Dozen, which raises funds for the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation, located on the Greenslopes Private campus. In the past 30 years they have donated approximately $400,000 to medical research.

Betty Jennings proudly holds the title of Greenslopes’ longest serving volunteer - having served there for 21 years. She is also the President of the Diggers’ Dozen and says she’s determined to keep volunteering.

“I enjoy helping people, it’s the friendships you make and it’s just a good feeling. I’m 79 now and I have what I call ‘my glass back’, but I’ll be there as long as I can,” Betty said.

With her father having served in Papua New Guinea, Greenslopes’ Anzac Day services hold a special place in Betty’s heart, and are among her fondest memory during her more than two decades of volunteering.

“Since I was President of the Diggers’ Dozen, I’ve been honoured to lay a wreath on Anzac Day. I remember when I started volunteering at Greenslopes mum was still alive and she said to me ‘Daddy would be proud of you’, it’s very special,” Betty said.

Simone Slater said the volunteers provide a valued extension of clinical care for patients and support to their families. They strive to provide a positive experience to everyone who comes through the doors at Greenslopes Private Hospital.

For more information visit www.greenslopesprivate.com.au