Phyl Graham – Ballarat

Where do you volunteer your services?

I volunteer at Gandarra and Hospice, in Ballarat.

How long have you been volunteering for?

About 15 years.

What made you become a volunteer?

When I was working at Gandarra I felt that the staff needed support. I was working part time so I and another part time employee came in on one of our free days. I did Reiki and Meditation and she did massage for the staff. After I retired I did patient support. By the time I retired the Pastoral Care person did Meditation for the staff, so I focused on the patients.

What is your favourite part about being a volunteer?

Interacting with people. I love helping out in the kitchen. I enjoy putting relaxing CDs on for the staff and if I collect dirty breakfast dishes it gives me a connection with patients, so that if I go back to talk with them later it’s easier for them to feel comfortable with a different person they haven’t seen before.

What does this year’s theme for National Volunteer Week of ‘Better Together’ mean to you?

It means that we all have different skills and patients have different needs. It is “Better Together” so that as a Collective we can address more needs. Our differences make us Better Together.