THE POWER OF NUN: Sister Mary’s call to lend a helping hand at hospital auxiliary

Every individual human being has a variety of gifts, talents and abilities that can be shared with family, friends, neighbours and the wider community as and when appropriate.

COME AND JOIN ME: Sister Mary Trainor with Jason Crisp and Helen McFarlane when she was made a life member of the United Hospital’s Auxiliaries of NSW in 2015.

COME AND JOIN ME: Sister Mary Trainor with Jason Crisp and Helen McFarlane when she was made a life member of the United Hospital’s Auxiliaries of NSW in 2015.

Admittedly, most of us don’t acknowledge these as anything special, but simply use them and share them as the needs arise.

People who volunteer their services for worthy causes give their time and talent without remuneration so that lots of less fortunate situations can be mitigated or relieved.

Recently, the Central Western Daily had an excellent article about the various volunteer groups who assist at the main Orange Health Service, who give time, expertise and talent to help things run smoothly and well, especially in places like the kiosk and the Wayfinders.

Across the campus – and with a decidedly less visible profile – is the Bloomfield-Riverside Auxiliary, which was founded in 1982 to provide amenities and comforts at both personal and communal level, as well as recreational and therapeutic aids to enhance the lifestyle of our clientele on and off the campus.

People needing the services of Bloomfield Hospital suffer a variety of mental illnesses, addictions and rehabilitation needs and often need practical as well as medical assistance.

The Intellectual Disability service of Riverside Centre is currently in the process of permuting into group homes in the wider community, which will in due course be managed by non-government organisations.

When this process is complete, the auxiliary will need to revert to its original title of simply Bloomfield Hospital Auxiliary.

Like all volunteer organisations in this century, membership is hard to come by, but unlike those organisations which need regular commitment to keep their services going, our auxiliary is less demanding most of the time.

We meet once a month at the Barwon building at Bloomfield Hospital at 12.30pm on the second Wednesday of the month.

Meetings last about an hour and a light lunch is provided.

Membership is just $5 per annum.

Meetings deal with current correspondence, event planning and dealing with request from wards and units for financial assistance.

Once, or maybe twice a year we hold a barbecue at Bunnings. This needs planning and preparation and staffing on the day.

The biggest call on volunteer service is for our annual giant raffle ticket selling, which is our main source of revenue for the year.

Apart from individual members being responsible for a book of tickets, we usually book 21 days over seven weeks for sales in the central business district.

This needs a daily roster of lots of people to cover the rosters.

If our branch of the United Hospital Auxiliaries of NSW is going to stay alive and active, we need to attract some more generous, kind-hearted men and women to join us, especially to help out with the fundraising.

If we don’t find more helpers, we will have to close and some of the neediest men, women and children utilising the services of Bloomfield will be the losers.

Come on, give it a go.

In November, 2015, after more than 30 years of working for the Bloomfield and Riverside Hospital Auxiliary, Sister Mary Trainor has been honoured with life membership of the United Hospital’s Auxiliaries of New South Wales Inc.