Carole-Anne’s warm glow from volunteer job done well

Volunteering with Bairnsdale Regional Health Services helps Carole-Anne Hock contribute to her community.

Carole-Anne – a former chef, East Gippsland TAFE hospitality trainer and business owner – has been a volunteer at BRHS for five years.

Her roles include clerical and administration work in the hospital’s Oncology and Dialysis unit and the Maddocks Gardens aged care facility, and driving for people who need a lift to and from their hospital appointments who otherwise would struggle to get around.

“I’m there wherever a job needs to be done. There are thousands of little things that I do, and I absolutely love it,” Carole-Anne said.

Carole-Anne, aged in her 60s, first became a BRHS ambassador five years ago, guiding visitors through the hospital to where they needed to go.
When that role was not possible because of coronavirus COVID restrictions, she was keen to stay connected to BRHS.

“I just needed to do something to give back to the community. I love helping out people where they need it, and I thought the hospital is a place that needs help. Following COVID, it was perfect that I chose the hospital to give back to the community, and to help those who are helping us,” she said.
Carole-Anne said she gets great satisfaction from easing the workload for BRHS staff.

“It’s not for me. I am not looking for praise, but I know those little bits that I do go a long way. I have been on the other end, when you’ve had a frazzled day and you just want someone to come and do that filing or fix this up or do something you didn’t have time to do. That’s what I do, and I know how important those tiny things are, because they add up,” she said.

Volunteers feel valued by the organisation, she said.

“Many of the staff don’t know me, and I don’t know them, but you walk past people in the corridors and everyone says hello, or asks how you’re going or gives you a nod. Our distinctive orange t-shirt uniform, makes us very recognisable as a ‘go-to person’ for help, and we get highly acknowledged by the board and the executives,” Carole-Anne said.

“There’s a feeling of inclusiveness. The volunteers aren’t being paid but the volunteers are part of the team – and a valued part of the team.”

BRHS is ideal for anyone who is looking to stay busy and perform community work that’s much appreciated – especially as COVID continues to affect health services.

“It’s a great place to work. Anyone who is looking for fulfilment by helping others, this is the place to come to. You get a sense of achievement and worth for what you’re doing,” Carole-Anne said.

“I was just speaking to an elderly resident who is very vision-impaired. I have been helping devise some activities that he can do. I came up with something, and he added to that, and I thought: ‘Wow, I have helped him out and he has helped me out’. That’s the sense of achievement that you get. You give, and you get back.” Carole-Anne said.

BRHS can offer volunteers a vast range of roles. If you are interested, contact BRHS Volunteer Co-ordinator Susan Wharfe on 5150 3346 or email

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