Intergenerational volunteering supporting Calvary hospitals

Emma and Lyn

Inspired by her grandmother, Emma Carrabba became a volunteer at Calvary Central Districts Hospital (CCDH) as soon as she turned 18.

“I started volunteering because of my grandma. Every week she’d share with me what she did at the hospital and how much she enjoyed it,” Ms Carrabba said.

Emma volunteers in the wards at CCDH while her grandmother Lyn Beeby, volunteers at her local hospital, Calvary North Adelaide.

“I volunteer in Kimberly House, the oncology unit at Calvary North Adelaide. All of the patients there are receiving chemotherapy so my role is to make them as comfortable as possible, making sure they have food, water, blankets and someone to chat to,” Ms Beeby said.

“When I walk out the door I’m exhausted, but I feel so good. The patients always say I mean so much to them, but I feel as though I get more out of it than they do.”

The granddaughter-grandmother duo aren’t alone in sharing their love for volunteering across generations. Heather Kinsman and her daughter Kathy Marzocca give their time to patients and staff at CCDH.

Kathy and Heather

Heather has been volunteering at Calvary for the past ten years, assisting patients and staff on the ward and in oncology. Now she gives her time to staff in the hospital’s kitchen.

“My late husband was a patient at Calvary Central Districts Hospital and the nurses were so wonderful with him. I realised the nurses could do with having an extra pair of hands, so I put my hand up to volunteer,” Ms Kinsman said.

“It means everything to me. I don’t get lonely, I meet new people and I’m able to talk to the patients. It just makes me feel worthy.”

Her daughter Kathy started volunteering at CCDH while on long service leave after her mother told her about the meaningful work. “I’m actually retired from my job now and being able to volunteer at Calvary Central Districts Hospital once a week gets me out of the house, allows me to meet new people and, importantly, give back to the community,” Ms Marzocca said.

“It is very rewarding knowing that you’ve taken a little bit of the load off the nurses’ shoulders in the Day Surgery Unit during the hours that I’m here.”

This year’s National Volunteer Week theme is Something for Everyone. At Calvary, our volunteers come from all walks of life and our volunteering program has a range of opportunities and roles available to anyone who is interested in giving back to their community in a big or small way. To find out more about volunteering with Calvary, visit here.