Gwen devotes 25 Years to Volunteering at Mater

Gwen devotes 25 Years to Volunteering at Mater

Gwen Grant is just one of the many treasured volunteers at Mater Mothers' Hospital, she does not think her life is extraordinary but to the thousands of people she has helped over the last 25 years she is nothing short of extraordinary.

She is a warm, kind and friendly woman who establishes an instant connection with all she comes in contact with, which makes her the ideal Mater volunteer.

“When I first started, I volunteered in the old children’s hospital spending the first half of my day in admissions and the second half in the Special Care Unit,” she said.

“My role in children’s theatre admissions was to care for the families while their children were having surgery, for some people this was the scariest day of their life. I would make them a cup of tea, bring them some food and try my best to distract them or keep the other siblings occupied.”

The second half of Gwen’s day was spent in the Special Care Unit (SCU) with premature and ill babies and is something she still does to this day and what she loves most.

“Working in the SCU I sort through donated clothing and write thank you notes for people who had made it. Every now and again there is a very special moment when you get to cuddle a baby, these are the most wonderful moments and I look forward to them so much,” she said.

“When I first came to Mater the “Cuddle Mum” program had just started after another midwife had seen how successful it was in Canada and implemented it here.

“Cuddling the babies was so special, one afternoon I put on the gown, sat in the arm chair and was able to nurse this baby for hours, it was truly beautiful.”

Monica Bittenbinder is a Senior Administrative Officer in the Mater Mother’s Hospital said Gwen constantly amazes her.

“She is nothing short of amazing, everyone in the hospital knows her and we all think she is wonderful. She comes in at the same time each week with a smile on her face and nothing is too much trouble,” she said.

It is undeniable that Gwen’s kindness has touched so many people who have walked through the Mater doors.

“There were so many special moments over the years but I have realised that they are all special moments and I try to focus on what’s happening at the time and be in the moment,” she said.

Mater Senior Manager of Volunteers Judy Johnson said Gwen was a much loved and valued member of the Mater Volunteer Team.

“Gwen is a generous and kind person who we are lucky to have as a member of our volunteer team. She has so much knowledge to share and experience to draw on. It’s a privilege to work alongside her,” she said.

“Volunteers contribute over 80,000 hours every year to the Mater. That equates to thousands of moments of kindness and support.”

Gwen has recently been honoured at the Mater Long Service Awards recognising her 25 years of service to the hospital where she still works two days a week.

“I feel very blessed to have this life, I have always found joy in helping people,” she said.

To find out more about volunteering at Mater please contact 07 3163 8599 or email volunteers@mater.org.au

 

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