Jane receives 25-year volunteer service award

Long term volunteer, Jane Ansell,  recently received her 25-year volunteer service award and we are incredibly grateful for her ongoing commitment to Very Special Kids. Jane reflected on how she came to be involved with Very Special Kids and the rewarding nature of volunteering.

I first heard about Very Special Kids from a friend who had read an article in the paper inviting people to come to an information evening to hear about volunteering within the organisation.

I had been thinking of doing some type of voluntary work but wasn’t sure what. Until that night, where what was being offered was really interesting, as there were a variety of areas you could choose from ,and I put my name down that night.

I had thought I would like to be with a family but nothing came up for quite a while, and I was offered a place on the hospital team at the Royal Children’s Hospital. That is where I stayed for 16 years. It was a wonderful experience and a privilege to be with some families at very difficult times in their lives.

It was also a lot of fun getting to know children over many years and see them grow up and be so resilient and enjoy their lives even when living with so many medical issues and hospital stays.

It was also good to be there for the parents to have someone, other than medical staff, to talk to and release some of their thoughts and concerns.

This experience will always stand out as the most rewarding time as a volunteer as some days you left the hospital knowing you had made a difference supporting a family.

I’m looking forward after last year, to helping raise money for this wonderful organisation when we can have some events again like the fair.

Receiving this 25-year service award is much appreciated, but not something I expected after all these years of doing something I have really loved. It is very true that volunteering in such a caring and supportive environment gives you so much more than you could ever give back.

For the moment I will keep making jam and chutney in the hope we can all get together for another Very Happy, Very Special Kids Fair as soon as possible.