Celebrating our Paediatric Palliative Care Volunteers

This year World Hospice and Palliative Care Day was held on October 10, with its theme ‘Hidden Lives, Hidden Patients”.

A special ceremony was held at Parliament House on October 14 to celebrate the day, with Palliative Care NSW choosing to acknowledge this year’s theme by highlighting our paediatric palliative care volunteers and the tremendous work they do for terminally-ill children and their families.

Minister for Health, the Hon. Jillian Skinner MP officially launched the event and presented the 2015 Paediatric Palliative Care Volunteer award.

Joe Stanioch from Bear Cottage was awarded the prestigious Palliative Care NSW ‘Volunteers Supporting Palliative Care’ Award for his exceptional contribution to improve the experience of a patient with Palliative Care needs.  Joe has been working at Bear Cottage for 11 years and over that time has donated thousands of hours of service to children at Bear Cottage who have such a fight on their hands.  

Two other Bear Cottage volunteers have also been recognised for their passion and commitment in separate ceremonies earlier this year.

Judy Lavery was a finalist in the NSW Volunteer of the Year Award (North) and the winner of the Volunteer of the Year Award for Sydney Children's Hospital Network for both her contribution to fundraising and her unwavering compassion and drive in caring for terminally-ill children while Marieke Jongerius was awarded an "Outstanding Volunteer 2015 Manly Council" award for her volunteer work as a photographer for Bear Cottage by Mayor Jean Hay at a morning tea at the Manly Council Chambers.

Last year there were more than 1,200 palliative care volunteers in NSW with 130 of these volunteers working at Bear Cottage.