Diggers Dozen carry on 30-year legacy at Greenslopes Private Hospital
Jun 01, 2020
A group of volunteers is celebrating 30 years of generously providing their time to contribute to the caring culture at Greenslopes Private Hospital.
The Diggers Dozen came together three decades ago after a call-out to form the ‘Friends of the Hospital’ program. On May 28, 1990 the group was officially launched and proved to be an invaluable asset to the hospital.
During the first two meetings, a decision was made to refer to the group as the Diggers Dozen - a nod to the military history of the site which originally opened as a hospital for returned defence personnel.
Diggers Dozen President, Betty Jennings, said: “Initially they put the group through a six-month trial period which found the group were friends to everyone.”
The volunteers frequently visit patients, make tea and coffee in the emergency centre and recovery areas, and answer questions at information desks stationed in the hospital.
In 2005 the group’s enthusiasm was truly realised when pledging to raise $50,000 over three years to the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation (GMRF), based at Greenslopes Private Hospital. The volunteers reached the goal in just two years.
GMRF’s CEO, Miriam Dwyer, said: “The group is so dynamic, it is incredible. They just love the hospital, they really enjoy giving back to the community and we have been lucky enough for them to support our foundation.”
At the peak there were more than 70 volunteers in the group, but now just 14 remain.
The Diggers Dozen has now raised an impressive $304,585.95 for the GMRF through on-site raffles, its biannual ‘bookfest’ and the sale of relishes and craft throughout the hospital.
“The funding has gone into all our research activities. It is not linked to a particular project, so it is great to be able to use it where it is needed most,” Mrs Dwyer said.
The Diggers Dozen now works alongside the hospital’s care volunteers, but still has a special role to play at the hospital.
Current president, Betty Jennings, has been with the group for 20 years and says she feels honoured to still contribute after such a long time.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the hospital, and I think we have done a pretty good job,” Mrs Jennings said.
The group is being honoured by both the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation and Greenslopes Private Hospital throughout the month of May.