Queanbeyan Hospital Auxiliary recently hosted delegates from Pambula, Cooma, Moruya, Tathra and Braidwood for their annual regional forum.
State president of the UHA of NSW, Tracy Wilkinson gave a wide ranging and informative report on the huge volunteer support provided by the 176 branches in 12 regions across the State.
More than $2.85 million worth of equipment and services was gifted to hospitals and local health services in 2020/2021.
The 10 auxiliaries in the South East Region gifted equipment and services worth over $136,000 during the last financial year.
This was despite numerous closures of hospital kiosks and restrictions on other fundraising activities during Covid-19 lockdowns.
The mayor of Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council, Kenrick Winchester, welcomed the delegates and officially opened the event by thanking them for their support and contributions to the hospitals and health facilities across the South East of NSW.
He mentioned he had a personal connection with the Queanbeyan Hospital, having been born there.
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Queanbeyan Branch president, Karen Campbell, thanked the Mayor for his attendance and also for the small grant the council had provided to assist the branch with expenses in hosting the forum.
Ms Wilkson encouraged delegates to continue their fundraising efforts, to look for different opportunities, seek sponsors, to learn from each other, to make use of new technologies and to expand recruitment across the community.
She highlighted that membership was not as much about attending meetings, it was about assisting the local community and being part of a collegiate organisation that provides a wide variety of tasks and great friendships.
Ms Wilkinson congratulated and presented a State Life Membership award to Jan Carpenter from Cooma for her wonderful, long-term commitment to her branch. She also presented several other branch recognition awards.
Eden Monaro MP, Kristy McBain, was a guest speaker at the forum.
She gave an encouraging speech and revealed that a quarter of the population in her electorate was involved in some type of volunteering.
"Please know that you make a difference", Ms McBain said.
She outlined the value of collaboration not only between community groups but also across all levels of government.
Each branch presented a short report on their fundraising activities over the past twelve months.
The reports revealed despite challenges faced by all auxiliaries due to Covid-19, they took every opportunity to raise funds to assist in improving the health care of residents of the South East Region of NSW.
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