Second Award Within Two Weeks For PDH Volunteer

Picture: Hon Dan Tehan, Margie Oates & Doug Craig (Guest Speaker)
Tuesday, 1 December 2015
Two awards within two weeks are nice, but a word of thanks from clients is all the reward Portland District Health volunteer Margett Oates needs.

Mrs Oates has received a National Volunteer Award 2015, Long Term Commitment to Community Service Award, just eight days after being named as a Portland District Health life governor

Her first connection to volunteering in the health field was 25 years ago with the Portland Community Health Centre Telecare program, which came under the umbrella of PDH about eight years ago. I had children at school but I wasn’t working at the time, Mrs Oates said. Someone asked if I would like to volunteer and I said yes and it just went from there.

Her first role as a volunteer was earlier than that, about 30 years ago in a kindergarten group when her children were in the pre-school.

She remains an active volunteer with Telecare and she also helps in the hospital with taking a trolley of newspapers and treats to visit patients in hospital. She has also been involved in the Community Transport service to bring people to appointments at PDH and as a palliative care volunteer.

Some weeks she spends about eight hours per week volunteering but it’s worth the effort.

I love the feedback you get from the people you’re helping, Mrs Oates said. You get a smile and a thank-you and they're all very appreciative.

I feel very privileged that other people are saying thank you but I do it because I want to, not because of awards.

Mrs Oates encourages others to volunteer if they can. Even if you've only got an hour a week; if you can give anything you get so much back from it, she said, You meet new people and help people who need some support.

Mrs Oates is particularly impressed by Telecare which she describes as a brilliant service.

We ring up and say how are you? Some will want a chat but others are happy to just let us know they're okay. For some we're their only connection to the outside world for the day.

Now retired, Mrs Oates also worked with the PDH environmental staff for 10 years.

PDH CEO Chris Giles said that Ms Oates had an outstanding reputation for reliability and enthusiasm.

Margie is someone who will try and assist and fill a need before the organisation is even aware there is one,she said.

She will arrive early and be last to leave at any function that she is involved with.

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