26 February, 2021

Our ‘family’ of close to 1,400 volunteers are special folk and we appreciate just how wonderful each one of them is. Every year when we honour those who have reached significant service milestones, we’re humbled by the skill, passion and loyalty they bring to their roles. In 2020 we presented long-service certificates to more than 170 volunteers. Here we feature a volunteer story from this incredible collective.

As a community visitor providing companionship to Harbour Hospice patients, Nancy believes she receives far more than she gives.

“You get to know this person who is so broken but such a strong human being, and that is a privilege,” she says. “The conversations we have are valuable because they have a certain amount of time and aren’t going to waste it.”

Nancy has always felt she should give back in gratitude for the life she’s had. In Singapore she volunteered at a school for children with disabilities and regularly visited an elderly care home. One resident made a lasting impression; a 91-year-old who had endured a hard life as a maid but retained a giving nature.

“She showed me that in your own little life you can still think about others.”

Nancy brings empathy and active listening to every patient she visits.

“Just because someone is ill it doesn’t mean they stop being, thinking, living,” she says. “The most important thing is being able to listen to what is said, and what isn’t.”

Nancy Sirisena web