Volunteers are still giving after 8641 hours at Ronald McDonald House | Video, photos

Seven volunteers have given up a total of 8641 hours in the past three years to support families staying at Ronald McDonald House [RMH] while their children are treated in Orange hospital.

That equals nearly a full year’s work and includes overnight, Christmas, Easter and public holiday shifts.

Six of the seven, Georgie Windsor was not present, were recognised for their incredibly selfless efforts on Thursday as part of National Volunteer Week with a presentation from RMH board chair Catherine Nowlan.

“We can’t have a house 24/7 for the families of seriously sick children without your contribution,” she said.

RMH executive officer Rebecca Walsh said they were part of a team of 130 volunteers who had racked up 39,344 hours volunteering since RMH Orange opened.

“We feel National Volunteer Week is the ideal time to pay special homage to these seven volunteers who have made an exceptional contribution,” she said.

The volunteers say they are enjoying every minute of their 1000-plus hour stints.

Jane Fairgrieve [1498 hours] and husband Bill [1471] have given up most of their time.

“We’re trying to give back to RMH,” Mr Fairgrieve said.

“Back in 1992 we [stayed] at the RMH down in Randwick and we were very impressed with it.”

He said it was when daughter Caroline was in hospital in Sydney.

Mrs Fairgrieve said they did the night shifts.

“We look after the house after six o’clock,” she said.

“We look after the place making sure everything’s running smoothly.”

Narelle Gordon said she enjoyed the experience.

“I’m a retired teacher so I’ve had a wonderful life and I’m giving back, it’s such a fun house to work at.”

Barry Spilstead said he loved meeting the families.

“To talk to the parents and the kiddies, you see a sparkle, I just love hearing their stories and hearing where they are from,” he said.

Mary Jo Weston said she moved to Orange four years ago and wanted to volunteer.

“I’ve met some lovely people along the way,” she said.

Judy Reppen encouraged others to volunteer.

“You know you are helping a family at a very critical time,” she said.

“It doesn’t tie you down, you can do as many hours as you want. We’re always looking for volunteers.”

The Orange house cares for families from 86 per cent of the state.

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