5 November 2020 News

International Volunteer Managers Day

We asked our Volunteer Services Manager Nicky a few questions about her role and time with the Foundation…

Briefly describe what your role as Volunteer Services Manager entails.

For me, I like to say that my job is helping people help people. I am the person who gives other people a chance to make someone’s day or to provide a small kindness to ease their health journey. I get to work with dedicated people who want the best for sick kids and their families, how awesome is that? A part of my role is creating new opportunities to support patients, families, and staff and inspire people to help others. There is only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on so for me, so for me, it is about creating valued and impactful opportunities for volunteers to spend their time.

Is your current role, the role you started in at the Foundation?  If not, what was it?

I started in 2010 as the Recruitment and Training Coordinator. My job was to recruit, train, and manage the onboarding of new volunteers. I was then offered the opportunity to manage a few volunteer programs and it kind of grew from there! I now oversee all of the volunteer programs, recruitment, and development of new roles. I’m the one who dot’s the ‘I’s and crosses the ‘T’s for all thing’s volunteers.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

For me, it is hearing the stories from our volunteers on how they have been impacted during their shift. Seeing how they recognise that today they made a positive difference in the life of another. It’s getting feedback from families about an amazing interaction or support they received. For me, that is a win not just for the volunteer but for my whole team as well.

Why are volunteers so important?

Volunteers are there for the human need. Not the clinical or medical. They are there to bring those bright moments to people going through a dark time. All families deserve to be happy and volunteers are one of the important ways that CHF can complete its mission of working wonders for sick kids and their families. All of our volunteer roles are important in their own way and these people volunteer because it not only brings a sense of purpose for themselves but because they can see and feel the difference, they make each shift.

What is the most memorable moment from your ten years with the Foundation?

This is a hard one! Ten years of memories and moments, it is not easy to pick one. There have been so many. One that really sticks in my mind was a support program we put in place for a mum of 4 who had a 3-month old baby in hospital. She was a single mum from a regional town and she had the difficult choice of either leaving her new baby by themselves and return to her hometown which meant her other children didn’t have their mother or stay in Brisbane but she would lose her job and her other children would have no care. I mean, how does your heart wrap around that one? Stay with your baby but leave your other kids? Losing her job would mean she would lose her house, car, etc. To help her, I got her baby signed in the Cuddle Carer program and sat down with her to put together a care plan of Cuddle Carer support. It had the times and names (to the hour!) of the Cuddle Carers (including myself) and I introduced the Cuddle Carers to her before she left so she knew who would be looking after her baby. We had scheduled phone calls where the Cuddle Carers would hold their volunteer phone to the baby to hear mum’s voice. We also filled mum in on what was going on in her baby’s day. This really sticks out to me not because of how hard that was for that one mum and her baby but how it lets me see how common the situation was which pushed me to help more people to create more care plans. It showed me that hospital is not just about the medical side but all the other areas of life that are affected.

Finish the sentence: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if…

All people took the time to place themselves in other people’s shoes to see how much we all have in common.


Thank you to Nicky and the team for all you do to work wonders for sick kids!