There’s good news and bad news
Caption: Auxiliary volunteers Annette Nunn, Kerry Fleming, Jo Garlick, Cheyanne, Tracy Wilkinson, Lyn Weeks and Lyn Clemow.
The good news is over $400,000 profit, the bad news is volunteers are getting harder to find.
The Orange Hospital Auxiliary has been running for 95 years after starting with a meeting of 60 ladies back in 1923, now continuing to go from strength to strength the team of volunteers have pulled off a record year.
“In the last 12 months our net profit was $416,372.53 all because everyone is a volunteer. We have just over 80 volunteers with most still doing 6 hour shifts behind the counter in this coffee shop, which is amazing!
“Every cent of profit goes back to this hospital in ways of purchasing equipment, patient comfort, a fairy garden, the rehab garden and all sorts of things like that,” said President of the Orange Hospital Auxiliary, Tracy Wilkinson.
The Hospital Auxiliary is now made up of both dedicated men and women, some who have been involved for over 40 years, while some only 4 months but each one has contributed to making a difference not only to the Hospital but the community.
“A volunteer is a special person and I believe once you are a volunteer you are always a volunteer. To get the younger ones to commit with enthusiasm and dedication is really hard. If the younger generation don’t start to step up there won’t be many volunteer services. This hospital has 350 volunteers of which we are only a portion of which is phenomenal. Without those volunteers the hospital would suffer and if the hospital suffers the patients suffer,” said Tracy.
The Orange Auxiliary used to make jams and chutneys back in the depression year, they even put out a cook book, raising $5,000 pounds which equites to about $100,000 now to kick start the new hospital. Since then the fundraising has continued but the volunteers have had to come up with new ways of doing things.
“NSW Health is bringing in Healthy Choices and a lot of people thought we wouldn’t be able to raise enough money in the cafe so we had to think outside the square and put in a gift line, eftpos, flowers and all of that sort of stuff to compensate for all of the sugary things we used to sell. We crossed our fingers and hoped that it worked and last financial year was a record amount raised,” said Tracy.
The team are already looking ahead to see what they are capable of for next year and there is no stopping them now.
“The goal for the next 12 months would be to be 100% Healthy Choices and to try to get more things to offer people, we have put in kids activity books and things like that. Our aim is to keep appealing to what everybody needs and to try and attract some more younger volunteers.
“A lot of people say they can’t volunteer because they work, well if there are excuses in the world that would be one of them. I personally worked full time and raised four children and that doesn’t make me anything special. Working is not an excuse.
“If you are interested you can either pop in here or you can ring me directly. You can come here and have a look around, you don’t have to decide on the spot and you can see if it works for you. Then we can talk about what sort of hours that you have to offer and how that fits in with our needs,” said Tracy.
Many people who work at the hospital also volunteer including Joanne Garlick, Director of Nursing and Catherine Nowlan, General Manager going to show anybody can make time for it.
One of the dedicated volunteers Lyn Weekes added, “I have been volunteering here for seven years now. The money is going to a good cause and it is going back into the hospital to help people. You enjoy the people you work with, is just wonderful. It is very worthwhile, and I encourage other people to come and volunteer. It has also been wonderful to raise so much this year too”.