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Stories from our Volunteers during National Volunteer Week

Volunteering Sisters!!

Doreen (left) has been volunteering at Mercy Hospital Mount Lawley for 13 years. She started her volunteering work the hospital gift shop, and after a variety of different roles she is now a firm fixture in the Admissions Section. Such is Doreen’s commitment that when she went on holiday she arranged for her sister Beryl (right) to take over her volunteering duties on a temporary basis. Turns out Beryl enjoyed the experience so much she joined MercyCare as a volunteer too. You can still find Doreen in Admissions, and Beryl is helping our new mums in the Family Birthing Unit.

A way of life

Following her retirement in 1993, Jeannine decided to head to MercyCare to find out what help she could offer and how she could stay active and make a difference. And what a difference she has made!

18 years later, Jeannine is still an active, integral member of our volunteer services. She has taken part too many projects to list them all, but when asked what some of her highlights were Jeannine fondly recalls the following things:

“To begin with, Mrs Shirley Eldridge asked me to begin a “Twilight Programme” that would involve playing piano, singing and working with the Nursing Home residents during the time between afternoon tea and the evening meal.

In 1994 the late Sr Sheila Sawle rsm asked my husband Vince if he would Co-ordinate the Annual Book Sale which had just had its first sale, and being a partnership in all things I naturally became involved with him until ill health caused him to withdraw from the active role. My very dear friend Joan Langton took over and I stayed on until the Sale’s finale in 2010 after 17 years.

In 2004 I was asked to assist the Rev Lyn Pushong from Family Services to organise and try to preserve photos covering many, many years of the history of St Joseph’s Orphanage and St Vincent’s Foundling Home.

In 2008 the new Heritage Trail was opened on the Wembley site. This was a joint project by Lyn and myself to establish a permanent memorial to all those Sisters of Mercy and Children who spent years of their lives at Wembley and to keep the History of Mercy at Wembley alive.

I was brought up by parents who volunteered for the Sisters of Mercy in country towns and at St Brigid’s College Lesmurdie so volunteering, for me, is a way of life. I feel I have gained far more than I have given and hope to continue for the years to come.”