When Sumitra Gurjar retired six years ago she wanted to do something meaningful with her spare time. But she also needed to do something that was mentally and physically active for her own health.
“After I retired I wanted to continue to get out of the house and meet people,” she said.
After hearing about the opportunity at Cancer Council NSW, within a few short months she was volunteering in administration at the organisation’s head office, Woolloomooloo.
By the end of 2016, Sumitra decided to take her involvement to the next level and signed on as a Cancer Council Information Service volunteer at Liverpool Cancer Therapy Centre.
And she’s never looked back.
“I was looking for a new challenge. I hadn’t had direct contact with cancer patients in my previous volunteer roles and the centre was just 15 minutes from home. It just made sense.”
Sumitra said working with cancer patients was just what she needed and it was extremely rewarding.
“Just last week, three people opened up to me to tell me their stories,” she said.
“I was also able to assist a woman with mood swings by showing her a Cancer Council brochure that helps explain the emotional toll of treatment.
“Working with patients was daunting at first, but people want to talk and they want someone to be there to listen.”
She also saw the benefits of social interaction for patients.
“Social interaction is really important. Often patients are so focused on getting well during treatment that the social aspect of life takes a back seat. That’s where we as volunteers can help.”
Cancer Council NSW are calling for more volunteers at Liverpool Hospital’s Liverpool Cancer Therapy Centre in the information service centre.
- Details: To volunteer contact Melissa Mackay: (02) 9354 2071 or firstname.lastname@example.org.