Forum shines spotlight on region's vital volunteer hospital auxiliaries

Do you know just how much your community's hospital auxiliary contributes to your local health service?

The Central West Regional Forum of the United Hospital Auxiliaries was hosted by Eugowra UHA on Tuesday, and State president Tracy Wilkinson shone the spotlight on the vital work the organisation's long-serving volunteers are doing.

"Anyone in the community that uses the services of a NSW Health Hospital or Multi Purpose Service, will at some point be using equipment by their local auxiliary," she said in her address.

"We are one of the very few charities that gives back to the community 100 per cent of funds raised, by way of medical equipment and patient comfort items.

"Unfortunately, there are still many in our communities that have never heard of NSW Auxiliaries, and it's time we started to spread the word about the work our volunteers are doing, and have been doing for many many years (in some cases over 100 years).

"It's more important than ever to not only keep our auxiliaries going, but to implement some changes in order to attract the younger generation into the wonderful world of volunteering."

Ms Wilkinson spoke of the difficulties the organisation - as well as many others - have faced in the past two years with the combined effected of COVID-19, flooding and fire impacting regions.

Despite that, State-wide these incredible organisations have raised $5million to bring needed equipment into their local health services - meaning a huge thank you is due to all those who have contributed whether with donations or by supporting a street stall.

"There are quite a few auxiliaries thinking outside the square, and coming up with some wonderful fundraising initiatives, which in turn is attracting more members," Ms Wilkinson said.

At the Central West forum, attendees also at the opportunity to hear from guest speaker, well known Canowindra identity, Tommy Jeffs, who shared about his very interesting working life and amazing venture into raising funds for an equally amazing number of deserving causes.

Following lunch, the representatives of each auxiliary - Canowindra, Forbes, Oberon, Grenfell, Bloomfield, Orange, Trundle, Eugowra and Tottenham - then gave their reports.

They shared news of their fundraising efforts and membership - whether strong or struggling.

The Canowindra branch has been supporting the community for an incredible 90 years this year, the Orange branch staffs the hospital cafe with just 19 members to raise their funds.

It was also an opportunity for the State President to acknowledge volunteer service, after two years of in-person gatherings being cancelled.

Ten-year badges were presented to Mavis Cross, Gwenda Rue and Judy Smith.

Twenty-year badges presented to Jeanette Norris and Margaret Sharp.

30 Year acknowledgement certificates were presented to Kerry O'Malley and Shirley Heinzel.