PDH nominates Hazel for state award

Tuesday, 7 May 2013
Not even a battle with cancer has dampened the volunteering spirit of Hazel Short.

Portland District Health has nominated Hazel for a Minister for Health Volunteer Award in recognition of her long-term commitment.

Last year Hazel was diagnosed with breast cancer and has since undergone a double mastectomy. However, instead of seeing this as a barrier to her volunteering, it spurs her on to do even more in the community.

Hazel started as a volunteer at PDH 25 years ago, and continues to volunteer with the Telecare program which makes calls each day to Home and Community Care clients living at home.

Along with her Telecare role, Hazel also volunteers each week at Harbourside Lodge, where she attends weekly to play cards and assist with outings or events the facility has organized.

She has volunteered over the years in other areas of PDH, assisting with Meals on Wheels, reading and providing a listening ear to patients and as a ward assistant.

The latest initiative to benefit Portland District Health from Hazel’s tireless volunteer hours is the Transit Lounge, where people are supported while being discharged from the hospital.

In the broader community, Hazel formed a widow’s group after her husband passed away nine years ago, is a tram conductor for Portland Cable Trams and is a volunteer with, Portland United Church, Glenelg Shire Council’s Kurrujong Planned Activity Group and as a bingo caller for Portland Senior citizens.

Hazel had cared for her husband for 16 months after he suffered a stroke which left him in a wheelchair and needing full-time care.

PDH’s Manager of Volunteers Carolyn Malseed described the value of Hazel’s tireless volunteering as “immeasurable”.

“Her contribution enables the organisation to provide programs to the community of a high standard. Hazel’s enthusiasm and empathy in all she undertakes inspires others along the journey with her,” Ms Malseed said.

“The Portland Community is enriched by Hazel being a part of it.”

Manager Primary & Community Care Annette Hinchcliffe said Hazel’s contribution was worthy of special recognition.

“Whilst Hazel is a humble lady who considers herself to be just “one of the team”, her ongoing work as a volunteer is certainly worthy of special recognition.”

The winners will be announced on Wednesday May 15 during National Volunteer week.

PDH will host a morning tea for the organisations volunteers on May 17.

STORY BY Rick Bain

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