Credit union grant rewards true-blue volunteers who give something back

IF you or someone you know has made a contribution to the community by volunteering with the Blue Ladies over the past four decades, the organisation would like to hear from you.

The group, now known as Blue Ladies and Men to keep pace with the changes in society, will hold a reunion in Orange early next month and wants as many former and current members as possible to attend.

The group was formed 45 years ago  to visit hospital patients, write  patients’ letters when needed, arrange flowers, do patients’ washing or buy items they needed.

Many of the Blue Ladies assigned to the maternity ward spent hours folding terry towelling cloth nappies. As a sign of the times that too has changed.

“We use disposable nappies now just like the mums do,” said the group’s president Lorraine Ashbrooke.

Volunteer Don Marshall said he enjoys the interaction with patients, and while that hasn’t changed over the past 45 years, some of the other tasks have, with volunteers now stepping up to even help out with paperwork on wards to relieve staff.

Orange Credit Union staff were so impressed with the work of the Blue Ladies and Men, they  gave the organisation a grant of $1000 to host the 45-year reunion.

Orange Credit Union retail services manager Glen Tracey, who visited the hospital recetnly to see their work first-hand, said he was impressed with the dedication of volunteers.

“They do such a great job,” he said.

“Every year for our community grants we get far more applications than the number that can be awarded, but we do try to spread the grants across a wide section of the community and the Blue Ladies and Men were seen as very worthy recipients.”

People wishing to attend the reunion, which will be held on Wednesday, May 14, at the Senior Citizens Centre should call Lorraine Ashbrooke on 6363 1791 or 0403 900 614.

janice.harris@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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