As part of International Volunteers Day, unpaid members of the Southern NSW Local Health District praised have been praised an acknowledged for their selfless hard work.
Acting Bega Valley Health Services Manager Vickye Coffey, said the selfless commitment and efforts of volunteers gave the community and the Health District a precious resource of practical assistance and caring support.
"This year's theme is 'volunteer for an inclusive future' and that is exactly what volunteering is all about," Ms Coffey said.
"Volunteers who are willing to give so much without financial reward are building connections and trust between our staff, patients, visitors and the general community.
"Volunteering also provides the opportunity for people, including those who may feel excluded, to impact their own lives and play a vital role in their communities. It can help them experience solidarity and inclusion."
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While expressing her gratitude to all volunteers, Ms Coffey highlighted the service of volunteer Carleen Marley who has been with the Bega Valley Health Service for 17 years.
Ms Marley currently volunteers as both a pastoral carer and with the Dementia and Delirium group which provides emotional care for hospital patients with dementia and delirium.
"It is a great privilege to service members of the hospital community as they face the challenges of sickness and ill health," Ms Maley said.
"I am a great listener and one of the greatest rewards is to see the smiles on patient's faces and to feel their appreciation to just be heard."
Ms Maley's training has involved obtaining a clinical pastoral education certificate, grief counselling, sudden death in the emergency department and of course, her training with the Golden Angels Dementia and Delirium Group.
"The new South East Regional Hospital is a blessing as we now have a dedicated quiet room which allows us to talk with patients, carers and families in private," Ms Maley said
Volunteers within the Health District take on a variety of roles ranging from auxiliary workers, patient support , pastoral care, transport drivers, committee members as well as volunteering in stalls, adminstration and arranging care packs.
"While our volunteers are recognised during the year through the District's awards and celebrations, it's fitting that volunteers be publicly recognised for their dedication, passion and skill. They embody the best qualities in our community, and they're a role model for others," Ms Coffey said.
People interested in volunteering in the Bega Valley are invited to contact Jenny Francis on 6491 9800.