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Volunteering at the Eye and Ear

Would you like to lead a happier and healthier life? Sleep better and contribute to a longer life? The answer isn’t a magic pill but it is more simple than you might imagine: volunteering.

Like most not-for-profit organisations, The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital relies on the generosity of the Victorian community to continue providing the best possible patient care.

For more than 90 years, volunteers have offered their time, skills and experience in support of the hospital's work. Today, our volunteer workforce continues to form a critical component of the work we do. Volunteers assist in many areas of the hospital, such as the Concierge program, where volunteers provide a warm welcome, guidance and support to patients.

Eye and Ear volunteers at an expo Eye and Ear volunteers at an expo

Some of our volunteers at the 12th Annual Boroondara Volunteer Expo. L- R: Sophie Wong and Margaret Lane, and Neil Coverdale and Dedrie Green.

Neil Coverdale and Margaret Lane have both been regularly volunteering at the hospital for over three years. Chances are, if you have visited the hospital on a Friday morning you would have been greeted by their friendly and welcoming faces.

Neil started volunteering after he retired as a primary school teacher.

"I like volunteering here because it is so different to what I used to do, primary school teaching. I find interacting with adults so interesting, and every week there is something new and something different."

Neil says volunteering at the Eye and Ear is very rewarding: “Everyone is so thankful for what you do – you feel as though you are being useful."

Margaret Lane became a volunteer at the hospital in October 2013 and said the Eye and Ear seemed like a logical place for her to volunteer – she has had many eye surgeries herself.

"Everyone is always a bit fearful when it comes to surgery and hospitals, and so was I, so I give people some comfort based on my own experience. I try and lighten what might seem major, and be cheerful to people, I try and share happiness."

"I enjoy helping people, I’m passionate about helping people," she says. 

While previous volunteer experience is highly regarded, this is by no means a requirement to join the hospital as a volunteer. We encourage a diverse range of applicants and all volunteers receive ongoing training to assist our patients, visitors and staff. Find out more about the commitment involved and positions available here.

Other ways you can participate 
If you would like to help, but don't have the time commitment required to be a volunteer, there are a number of other opportunities available. Being a part of our consumer register you can help the hospital improve our services by participating in Committees and Working Groups, attending focus group activities or reviewing patient information. For more information, please have a look at our consumer register brochure.

Interested in volunteering or signing up to our consumer register? Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator on Betty.Tellis@eyeandear.org.au or  03 9929 8658.