Returning with a smile: Celebrating National Volunteer Week 2021

Longtime volunteer Maggie Bell says she is excited to be back at Peninsula Health.

When Maggie Bell received her 10-year Peninsula Health Life Governorship last year, it was Volunteer Program Manager, Helen Wilson, who personally delivered the award to her house.

The duo have enjoyed a tremendous eight-year working relationship together, which has been reignited with the return of volunteers to our health service.

This National Volunteer Week (NVW), we are acknowledging the wonderful work of our volunteers – like Maggie – and consumer representatives for their outstanding commitment and support to Peninsula Health, despite not being able to attend our sites during COVID-19.

“I’m really pleased to be back volunteering, it was disappointing to have to stop,” says Maggie, who had her first day back at Frankston Hospital last Friday.

“I help Helen with all sorts of administrative things – making volunteer booklets, helping with the mail, using the computer for data entry – and drinking the coffee!”

“I really enjoy it here. I worked at another health service for many years in the UK, and it has been nice to see how Peninsula Health ticks.”

Maggie began volunteering at Peninsula Health in 2011 with our Pulmonary Rehab team, before joining Helen’s team.

According to Maggie, the pair gel well together, largely due to their joint sense of humour.

Helen, our Volunteer Program Manager, was delighted to see Maggie return to Frankston Hospital.

“It’s fantastic to have Maggie back,” says Helen.

“Maggie and I have a really good rapport and we work well together. We always have a great chat when we come in first thing, we have a really good connection.”

Maggie and Helen Wilson (Peninsula Health Volunteer Program Manager) have enjoyed an eight-year working relationship.

2020 was particularly challenging for our volunteers and consumer representatives, who were unable to attend Peninsula Health sites in person. That’s why, according to Helen, NVW 2021 is so important.

“The theme of this year’s NVW is Recognise, Reconnect, Reimagine – which is really pertinent to our volunteers coming back after Covid-19,”says Helen.

“The theme is really about acknowledging the tremendous work volunteers do both at our health service and in the community, and reconnecting with them.”

“We really try to recognise our volunteers as often as we can. We just can’t give enough appreciation for what they do with their time, and they do it so well without any complaints.”

“It is wonderful to see them returning.”

This National Volunteer Week, Peninsula Health thanks all of our tremendous volunteers and consumer representatives for all they do for our health service. We look forward to welcoming them all back on-site soon.

To find out more about volunteering at Peninsula Health, please visit:

Recognise, Reconnect, Reimagine

The following is a message from Helen Wilson, Volunteer Program Coordinator, and Michelle Daniel, Consumer Participation Manager.

This National Volunteer Week, we wish to shout out a big thanks to our volunteers and consumer representatives for another year of outstanding commitment and support to Peninsula Health.

Thank you to the consumer representatives who have continued to engage with us virtually through a challenging time.

We look forward to welcoming you all back on-site soon. Your helping hands, big hearts and enthusiasm have been greatly missed!

The theme for NVW 2021 is Recognise, Reconnect, Reimagine, which acknowledges that it is time to:

  • Recognise, celebrate and thank volunteers for the vital role they play in our lives.

    Volunteers make our communities stronger, especially during times of need, crisis or isolation.

  • Reconnect to what is important by giving our time to help others and ourselves.

    In a year when many of us have experienced increased loneliness or isolation, mental health or financial stress, volunteering can help. Evidence shows that volunteering connects us to others in our local communities, to better our mental wellbeing or potential pathways to employment. When we help others in our community or give our time to a cause we value, we also give back to ourselves.

  • Reimagine how we better support volunteers and the communities they help.

    We need to collaborate more and adapt our volunteering practices and programs. In doing so, we can better support and engage volunteers and consumer representatives, to continue the necessary and highly appreciated support they provide.