On International Volunteers Day, we thank our volunteers for their many contributions.

Peter Mac volunteers Aileen and Nishtha

Volunteers fulfil an integral role across many areas of Peter Mac. Each day, patients and carers access services designed to ease their cancer journey and make their hospital stay more comfortable.

Our volunteers provide a huge range of support services.

In the first half of 2022 they fitted 86 wigs for patients experiencing hair loss, and delivered 838 product bags to inpatients. They sewed 176 breast pillows, 370 hand-crafted bags, and 503 pieces of headwear.

Volunteers manage the Peter Mac Auxiliary Group, running a shop of handcrafted items that has been raising funds for nearly 40 years, and providing items direct to patients to improve their care and experience. 

Many volunteers also contribute to the Nancy Kinsella Patients’ Library, offering a wide variety of items from books to puzzles, for the enjoyment of both inpatients and outpatients. 

Speaking to volunteers Heather, Clarel, and Astrid, it’s clear that they love their work.

“If I can make someone smile I’m a very happy woman - if I can make them laugh I’m even happier. If somebody needs something I’m happy to do it,” says Heather, who has worked as a volunteer for four years.

“It’s rewarding for me as a person, and fulfilling. What I give out I get back in spades,” she says. 

Peter Mac’s volunteers create and maintain comfortable spaces like the Wellbeing Centre or Patient Library, which have a welcoming and inviting atmosphere than a ward or treatment room.

“It’s totally different there,” Astrid says, “you make people tea and coffee and just speak with them. You soon learn how to approach people and be sensitive to their needs and how they’re feeling”.

While some of the team have been directly affected by cancer and hope to pass on the care and support they received, others are here because they want “to do something worthwhile”, as Heather puts it.

Clarel explained that the strength of the team is invaluable.

“The best part about [the team] is the environment - the support, the atmosphere of validation that you get out from being here.”

Peter Mac’s volunteer service is newly reinvigorated following the pandemic, with volunteers clearly happy to be back on-site.

Peter Mac thanks every amazing volunteer and the staff that support them for their work, care, and dedication.

Click this link to learn more about volunteering at Peter Mac.