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Volunteers' work acknowledged

Volunteers from Benalla and district were recognised last week as part of National Volunteer Recognition Week.

MONIQUE FREER May 22, 2014 3:41am

Volunteers Margaret Nankervis, Laurie Melgaard, and Dorothy Meagher with Benalla Health chief executive Andrew Freeman, Benalla Health board chairman Graeme Budd, Benalla Health clinical services director Janine Holland and State Member for Benalla Bill Sykes.

Hundreds of volunteers across Benalla and district were acknowledged last week as part of National Volunteer Recognition Week.

Among those recognised were about 35 volunteers from Benalla Health, who gathered at a celebratory afternoon tea on Thursday at the Michael Long Education Centre.

Benalla Health chief executive Andrew Freeman said the event was one way to show appreciation for the important contribution volunteers made to the hospital.

‘‘The role they play is really vital in supporting in-patients, those in Morrie Evans (wing), family members and of course our staff,’’ he said.

‘‘They’re invaluable and they make a fantastic contribution to Benalla Health and everything they do is very well appreciated.’’

Laurie Melgaard has been volunteering at Benalla Health palliative care for 10 years and was one of several volunteers who were recognised for long service to the organisation last week.

‘‘I support the carers who are looking after someone with a terminal illness,’’ Mr Melgaard said.

‘‘I feel it’s worthwhile, and it’s appreciated I’m sure by the people we become involved with.’’

Benalla Rural City Council also took time to say thank-you to the many volunteers who contributed to the Benalla community with an afternoon tea and special movie screening on Sunday.

‘‘The many volunteers who give so generously of their time and talents are a big part of what makes Benalla such a great place to live,’’ Benalla Rural City Mayor Barbara Alexander said.

‘‘They make an immense contribution to many areas of our community life, and the council is happy to take this opportunity to thank them.’’

Some of the areas that volunteers contribute in Benalla Rural City include Meals on Wheels, planning activity programs, garden maintenance, Benalla Art Gallery, Waminda House and Benalla Festival and Australia Day events.

For more information about volunteering, phone Benalla Rural City on 57602600 or Benalla Health’s volunteer co-ordinator on 57614373.

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