June 29, 2021

Volunteers helping to protect our community

Northern Health’s dedicated volunteers have been helping out at our new COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic site in South Morang since it opened on Friday, 7 June.

Enduring the colder weather, volunteers greet community members as they arrive and assist them with checking in and directing to where they need to go.

“Some people don’t know how to use their mobile phones or don’t have phones with data, so our volunteers sit down with them and help them to fill in the online survey,” explained Henni Wade, Manager Volunteer Services.

“The volunteers chat to everyone in the line and help make our visitors feel welcome.”

Kathryn Bartho, Director Operational Readiness, acknowledged the important contribution of our staff and volunteers.

“Setting up the vaccination hub has been a great achievement for Northern Health – all of the staff contributing have been a big part of that. Our volunteers are providing an important and supportive role in the overall process, with a particular focus on the consumers by greeting community members, assisting them to check in using the QR code and helping consumers understand the flow and the process,” Kathryn said.

Last week, we introduced Melbourne Polytechnic student volunteers to the clinic environment. The volunteer experience has been organised to complement the health literacy subject they are completing at school. Melbourne Polytechnic and Northern Health are partnering to provide real life learning experiences for the students enrolled in the Certificate 3 and 4 English as an Additional Language (EAL) courses.

Most of the Melbourne Polytechnic student volunteers are interested in careers in health, so volunteering at our health service will give them insight into the many services we offer. They will be able to see first-hand what a difference volunteers make to our visitors’ experiences.

“Volunteers can really help to put peoples mind at ease during stressful situations. Getting the vaccine can be a situation which people get anxious about. Our volunteers meet and greet people as they arrive and help those that need some one-on-one assistance with the check-in process. This personalised help can reduce anxiety levels,” Henni explained.

“The volunteers love the chats and laughs they have with our visitors. The volunteers have been supervised by our Volunteer Coordinator, Christine McGowan, who is out there most days ensuring our volunteers feel valued and supported – and to ensure they get a nice hot cup of tea!” Henni said.

Thank you to our dedicated volunteers for your contribution to helping us keep our community safe.

Featured image (left to right): Volunteers, Carol and Richard at the COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic