“…when you volunteer, you vote everyday about the kind of community you want to live in.”

The author of such a statement has clearly identified the motivation of a volunteer.

To make a difference.

That is why the Volunteer Services of St. Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney stand alone as the cohort of people who, without any sense of entitlement or financial recompense, give of themselves, wholeheartedly and personally, professionally and happily.

They make a difference.

The Volunteers enhance the spirit within this iconic hospital. Their profile, image and presence colour our hospital culture.

Come along, and join this dynamic and exciting team…after all, they make the difference!

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer or would like to attend an information session, please contact James Cutcliffe on tel: 02 8382 6449 or email james.cutcliffe@svha.org.au.

A Volunteer Story

Merril Coulton OAM

In an attempt to help a friend overcome the sad loss of her husband, Merril Coulton OAM suggested they both invest their time and energy into helping others. Merril had been inspired by her father’s affection for St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney and the care he received there as a patient - the choice was easy where to invest their time. Fifteen years on, Merril continues to volunteer with us.

Every Wednesday and Friday morning, Merril prepares for the day ahead at St Vincent’s Private. She travels by train and bus from her home in Roseville to Darlinghurst and without pay or fanfare, sets to work. Merril goes to St Vincent’s Private to willingly do “any job that needs to done.” Merril has looked after patients’ flowers, worked in the hospital’s café and present, works two days a week in office administration.

Merril comes from a family that valued the opportunity to help others and so she finds working at St Vincent’s Private rewarding. Over the years, she has created strong friendships with people who she sees as like-minded.

“Over the years I have met lovely people. As volunteers we have a lot in common; we all display a certain type of empathy. All the volunteers are sympathetic in nature and are kind. Being sensible as a person is key to volunteering at St Vincent’s Private,” says Merril.

Merril believes that volunteers at St Vincent’s Private are motivated by their desire to help others. This is reinforced when Merril meets country patients and their families.

“I often meet people from the country. Away from home and in strange surroundings, they often feel uneasy and sometimes isolated. A simple chat with people in such situations can often help. It’s at times like this I know that as a volunteer I am making a real difference.

“As a volunteer, I feel like I am giving something back - giving both your time and more so, your presence, to others helps to understand your own fortunes in life. Australia depends on volunteers; to make Australia better we need to help others,” says Merril.

As one of many inspirational volunteers who work across our hospital, Merril recently received a Medal of the Order of Australia for her community work.