New hand meets a wise head in volunteer heart-to-heart

Our longest serving volunteer Phyl and one of our newest volunteers, Sarah.

This month we’re celebrating our team of more than 600 dedicated volunteers at the RCH.

We spoke to our longest serving volunteer Phyl, who has been volunteering for 39 years and introduced her to one of our newest volunteers, Sarah, who we welcomed as a volunteer in April.

Phyl started volunteering after her daughter suggested she might like it and has volunteered in orthopaedics with play specialists, doing the library run and in the Family Hub.

It was Sarah’s personal experience with a volunteer in the RCH Emergency Department (ED), that led to her applying to be a volunteer. She now volunteers in our ED on weekends, providing support to families, entertaining siblings, getting cups of tea and coffee and checking on patients and families while they wait to see a doctor.

Despite the gap in their experience, Phyl and Sarah are both grateful for the opportunity to be a part of our diverse network of volunteers at the RCH.

“I think volunteering allows people of different generations to work together – a lot of organisations don’t have that because older people would be retired in a paid job, so, this allows a spread of generations to interact regularly, and that’s got to be a good thing,” Sarah said.

Phyl agrees, and says she even goes on holidays with some of the friends she has met at the RCH.

“Volunteering is a way of meeting new people and gaining friendship, and the friendships I have formed in this hospital have been very rewarding,” she said.

Both motivated by helping children, Phyl and Sarah are equally inspired by each other.

Sarah says that after only one shift, volunteering had exceeded her expectations and meeting Phyl was further encouragement.

“It means somebody has enjoyed volunteering for such a long period of time and felt of such value that they have committed to it without pay which drives so many people,” she said.

And Phyl is just as happy to be meeting new people and sharing her knowledge.

“I think it is just encouraging to see all of these young volunteers come into the hospital, they have just been a delight – they add to you and make you feel young,” she said.

“If you want to help children, then that is what it’s all about, no matter your age or experience.”

We’re hosting an information session during National Volunteers Week. If you would like to find out more information about our volunteer program before applying we encourage you to come along.

When: Tuesday May 22, 2018 at 11am

Where: Ella Latham Theatre, Ground Floor, The Royal Children’s Hospital

Register your attendance by sending your name and contact details to

To learn more on what it takes to be a volunteer at the RCH, click here. 

6 comments for “New hand meets a wise head in volunteer heart-to-heart”

  1. Caithlin Power

    I’m unable to attend your information session, unfortunately, as I work 9-5, mon-fri. But I used to volunteer at the RCH on 4Main back in 2004-2006 (ish), and I would love the opportunity to do it again. I’d be grateful if the chance to discuss this possibility 🙂
    Thank you!

  2. David truong

    I’m not able to make the information session either but would love to see how i can help. I’m a teacher by profession in EC through to high school.

    If you could email me with more info that would be great.

    Kind regards

  3. Rebecca Mcdonald

    I’m unable to attendbutwpuld love to know more info. I’m a early childcare educator and want i help where I can. Please email me more info.


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