It’s not often you meet someone who has been in the same role for 30 years, but here at the RCH we have two special people who have not only achieved this milestone, they’ve done it by giving their time in a volunteer capacity.
Norma Crombie and Maria De Poi recently had their 30 years of volunteer service recognised at the RCH Annual Celebration. To date, there has only been a handful of people to reach this milestone and we would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge and thank them for their outstanding commitment.
We sat down with Norma and Maria to reflect on their time as volunteers.
Tell us how you became a volunteer.
Norma: I had time on my hands, the children were adults and I thought “I’m very fond of babies and perhaps The Royal Children’s would be the way to go”, which it has proved to be.
Maria: My daughter was doing her intern year here, and she said “Mum, you need to fill in your time”. So I applied and I got in.
What moments stand out from the past 30 years?
Norma: Apart from the babies, I think the friends. I love the friends, some of them have left and we still keep in touch and I think that’s probably been very good for me.
Maria: The thank-yous that you get when you go around the wards. But at the end of the day, you get more out than what you put in.
What’s next in store for you?
Norma: I don’t know, I was presented with a beautiful dish for the 30 years last week and I kept thinking ‘I suppose somebody’s going to say “You’ve passed your use-by date, off you go”’ but I’m making splints and I do a mail run – and I think I can still do those jobs reasonably well. So long as the volunteers think I’m doing a good job, who knows?
Maria: I don’t intend to go anywhere. I hope to get to 40 years. I’ll be 88 so if the health allows me, I’ll be here for as I long as I can do it because I would really miss it.