Dedicated volunteers on hand to welcome patients to Calvary’s new Connery Centre

Julie Gibson and Richard Badcock were among a number of volunteers working busily behind the scenes when the Calvary Connery Centre at Elizabeth Vale opened its doors last week.

The pair were on hand to greet patients for day one of the new cancer service. Once patients were inside, Julie and Richard both got to work making cups of tea, fetching blankets and doing their best to make sure the patients were as comfortable as possible during their treatment.

Meet our volunteers

Julie has been volunteering with the oncology team at Calvary Central Districts Hospital for six years.

“We look after a patient’s creature comforts – we sit with them and have a chat. We’re there for their carer too because they are also going through the process in a different way. It’s an emotional time.”

Richard said the role of a volunteer is incredibly rewarding.

“I used to work at Calvary in the maintenance department and when I retired I came back as a volunteer because I enjoyed the role. Being able to help the staff and ease the pressure as well as be there for patients is really fulfilling,” Richard said.

Director of Clinical Services Chris Hogarth said the volunteers are the backbone of the centre, providing a helping hand to staff and being a friendly face for patients.

“The value our volunteers add is immeasurable. Not only do the staff really value the extra support they receive but the difference our volunteers make to our patients is incredible,” Mr Hogarth said.

With Calvary Central District Hospital’s cancer services moving to its new home at the Calvary Connery Centre, the change was made more comfortable with same volunteers patients are used to making the move as well.

“Getting cancer treatment can be a daunting experience and with a change in location and setting, we are trying to make the transition as comfortable as possible. Patients are still being cared for by the same familiar wonderful staff and volunteers,” Mr Hogarth said.

The state-of-the art Connery Centre includes 18 oncology chairs and three treatment rooms specially designed and equipped to deliver chemotherapy, day haematology and other oncology treatments.

“What we’ve got here is really beautiful and the kitchen is so much bigger and the patients are going to have more space, and that’s wonderful for them,” Julie said.

The Connery Centre opened its doors last Tuesday, 4 June.