National Volunteer Week: St Stephen’s Hervey Bay volunteer couple share their story
Private hospitals across the country marked National Volunteer Week from May 11 to 17 by publicly thanking their volunteers who make a difference in the lives of patients every day. On the Fraser Coast in Queensland, retirees Margaret and Peter Murray, both in their 70s, shared their story of volunteer work at St Stephen’s Hospital Hervey Bay.
The couple volunteers once and sometimes twice a week at St Stephen’s Hospital. “We started volunteering at St Stephen’s when the hospital was relocating from Maryborough to Hervey Bay in October 2014. We really enjoyed working here, so we continued to volunteer,” said Mrs Murray.
“We are treated with respect at the hospital and are made to feel that our efforts are appreciated by the staff and the patients. We go back home every day with the satisfaction that our work makes a difference. This gives us a magical high,” said her husband, Peter Murray.
Mrs Murray has had a long-term interest in volunteering — she has previously worked at the Red Cross. Currently, she also volunteers at Fraser Coast FM 107.5 community radio station in Hervey Bay, answering the phone on Sunday mornings.
Mr Murray, who worked as an ambulance officer for 26 years before he retired, is a keen broadcaster at the radio station and said he loves his work at St Stephen’s. The couple likes working with people and feel that volunteering helps them keep in touch with and feel part of the community. “Before I retired, I had worked in the hospital system in food services, so I’ve had a long association with patients. It’s very rewarding to know that the help you give people is appreciated,” said Mrs Murray.
Acting General Manager and Director of Nursing at St Stephen’s Rae Priaulx said the hospital owed a lot to its 80 volunteers. “Our volunteers are truly appreciated for the excellent contribution they make to our hospital. The long tradition of volunteering which sets St Stephen’s aside is in good hands, thanks to these special people.”