Gerda was a driver of our van and cars, a member of the volunteer support committee and has also been a visitor to residents in local nursing homes. Gerda completed almost 9,000 trips, and close to 3,500 hours driving during her 14.5 years of service which is equal to a total dollar value based on today’s value for volunteers of $99,750.00. We were lucky enough to have a chat to her before she finished her volunteering journey about her time with us.
1. Why were you volunteering?
I had volunteered with the Cottage Hospice, Shenton Park for 20 years doing a variety of roles within the hospital. I have always wanted to assist with driving, but did not know how to help. I had driven a friend that did not drive for many years, and when she fell ill she required transport 5 times a week to the hospital. The doctor organised Melville Cares three times a week for my friend and I did the other two trips. I enjoyed volunteering and applied to be a volunteer driver.
2.What is the best thing about your volunteer role?
Meeting the client base and assisting the clients. Personal appreciation of the role was fantastic and feedback to me via the clients was amazing for my self-worth. I have a greater appreciation for life as one week I may have driven a client and the next week they may have sadly deceased. I have learnt to live life to the fullest each day.
3. Do you have any great stories / memories to share re your volunteering experience with us?
In my 14 years of volunteering I have too many stories to share! I enjoyed the great friendships I have made over the years with staff and volunteers past and present.
4. Would you recommend volunteering with Melville Cares and why?
Yes, because there are so many people that need assistance and I always felt welcomed and much appreciated by everyone.