Senior Volunteer of the Year – Helen Mears from Coffs Harbour

Helen Mears launching one of her many fundraisers in support of the Special Care Nursery at CHHC. She is pictured with Coffs Midwife Cecelia Hackett.

 

IN recognition of her tireless dedication to the Coffs Coast community, Helen Mears from Coffs Harbour has been named the region’s 2021 Senior Volunteer of the Year.

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh said the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards recognise the significant contributions individuals and organisations make across all sections of the community.

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“Helen Mears has been a United Hospital Auxiliaries volunteer at Coffs Harbour Health Campus for the past 40 years and I applaud her for her passion and dedication.”

The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards recognise the significant contributions individuals and organisations make across all sections of the community.

“Helen has fundraised for medical equipment, staffed the hospital’s café and gift shop and recruited, managed and inspired countless volunteers.

“She has been the president of the local UHA group, the Pink Ladies, for more than 30 years, overseeing the donation of more than $3 million.”

Helen reminisced with News Of The Area, “We started our first coffee shop in the social club rooms at the previous hospital which was a lot of fun.

“Eileen Milne and I started with sandwiches, and we were very happy the day we made $50.

“I am proud of all the money we have raised allowing us to purchase equipment that helps staff and improves the patient experience in hospital.

“Volunteering is a very rewarding and enjoyable job.

“I enjoy talking to patients and making their day a little better.

“During lockdown I’ve been keeping myself busy sewing special items for the hospital and also making items to sell in the gift shop.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to work, and very soon, and am very excited to relocate to our new coffee shop, which is in the new clinical services building.

“I was invited to attend the award ceremony on Friday (27 August).

“There were so many wonderful nominees I was very surprised to win.”

Gurmesh Singh congratulated Helen in Friday’s online ceremony.

”I applaud her for her passion and dedication,” said Mr Singh.

“Today’s online ceremony gave us the chance to come together and say thank you to our local volunteers, who are the lifeblood of our communities.”

The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards are run by The Centre for Volunteering, the state’s peak body for volunteering.

 

By Andrea FERRARI

 

Pink Ladies Fay Ratcliffe and Helen Mears in the Pink Ladies Coffee Shop at CHHC.

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