15,000 reasons to smile for Mater volunteer Gwen

15,000 reasons to smile for Mater volunteer Gwen

Brisbane grandmother Gwendoline Grant has clocked up 15,000 hours cuddling and caring for sick and premature babies at Mater Mothers’ Hospital.
For more than 25 years, the Brisbane volunteer has dedicated her time to the families in the Special Care Nursery, providing mums and dad with much-needed breaks and lending them an ear when they need to chat.
“I just love what I do,” Mrs Grant said.
“I am there when these parents are going through some tough times. Having a sick or premature baby in hospital can often be a really traumatic time for parents.”
As a volunteer, Mrs Grant has held hundreds of babies while their mums and dads attend medical appointments or have some well-earned rest.
“I know that just talking and reading to these babies can help relax them so much,” she said.
“They are just amazing little things. When I walk through the doors of the Special Care Nursery, I feel really privileged to be here.”
Mrs Grant, of Acacia Ridge, said she sometimes sang to babies in the nursery as well.
“You really don’t need a good voice - they don’t care,” Mrs Grant smiled.
“Knowing someone is there with them is all that matters.”
This week is National Volunteers Week (16-22 May) and Mrs Grant is one of hundreds of passionate volunteers at Mater, including her husband Errol, who has volunteered at Mater Hospital Brisbane for 16 years.
“He keeps coming back so he must love volunteering as much as I do,” she laughed.
Mrs Grant was recently recognised for the thousands of hours she has given Mater.
Mater Volunteer Senior Manager Judy Johnson said volunteers like Mrs Grant brought their own life experiences and personalities to care for others within the hospital.
“Gwen is a compassionate and kind person. We are so grateful for her time and empathy, and so are our littlest of patients,” Ms Johnson said.
She said when Mrs Grant first started, she volunteered in the former Mater Children’s Hospital spending the first half of her day in admissions and the second half in the Special Care Unit.
More than 2000 seriously ill and premature babies are cared for at Mater Mothers’ Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU) at South Brisbane.


Mater Babies
This Year
This Month
= two - six

Was this information helpful?

For urgent assessment at any stage of your pregnancy, please present to your nearest emergency centre or Mater Mothers’ 24/7 Pregnancy Assessment Centre in South Brisbane.

Was this helpful?
 Security code