For the past 12 months, Bob Donoghue has steered patients staying at Reed House to critical cancer treatment at Sunshine Coast University Hospital with a smile. The photo booth business owner was drawn to volunteering at Wishlist after his wife started at Reed House and loved it.
“I’m blown away by how appreciative and positive the people I transport to the hospital are. You know they’re going through a really rough time, but they always make you feel valued,” Mr Donoghue said.
After living quite the magnificent life across four countries in an array of automotive positions at Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Nissan, the 71-year-old said he looks forward to his rostered Wednesday shift, while his wife Jude volunteers one day a week in the office at Reed House – an affordable hospital accommodation facility in Nambour for patients, families and carers who need to stay close to a Sunshine Coast hospital while undergoing treatment, surgery or emergency stays.
“I know a lot of people my age who aren’t connected to their community and I think it shows. Having the structure of knowing every Wednesday regardless of anything else I do, I’ve got to get out of bed at a structured time. So it’s like going to work and still requires that discipline,” he said.
“It’s terrific for your mental health – you’re not sitting at home dwelling on your situation. Volunteering drags you away from that and gives you a fulfilling purpose in life.”
Wishlist is a not-for-profit organisation making the hospital experience better for patients and families through hospital accommodation, the provision of medical equipment, patient support services, research and education.