This year Anne Van Son celebrates her 30th year as a Palliative Care South East Volunteer. She began her journey in 1990, volunteering with Dandenong Palliative Care Service after seeing the impact their support had on families facing serious illness. Whilst she worked in the office and nurses’ home, the majority of her time was spent visiting clients to provide companionship and carer relief.
“We provided care so that families had somebody there to fall back on. I think it has helped them a lot because there was somebody there that they could trust and who would be there every time they needed support,” she says.
When reflecting on her time as a volunteer Anne is incredibly humble about the impact her three decades of work have had on the community. Instead, she is grateful for the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with clients, something she struggled with after immigrating from Italy.
“When I came to Australia I couldn’t speak English and I was a widow. I had lost my confidence. Starting at PCSE was good for me to meet all sorts of people and feel a part of the community. I always say it was my lifesaver because I have no other family here.
I would recommend it to anybody to become a volunteer, it’s so rewarding and helps you see how lucky you are when you’re healthy,” she says.
We are incredibly grateful for Anne’s contributions and support over the past 30 years. Her positive outlook and appreciation for life is to be admired. We look forward to continuing to work together and acknowledge the significance of her service in helping PCSE become the organisation it is today.
If you would like to learn more about our volunteer program or register your interest please click here.