Volunteers play an important part in rural communities everywhere.
One lady who’s been bringing a whole lot of sunshine to people’s lives is 85-year-old Pam Lord, from Thackaringa Station in far west New South Wales.
Every week, for nearly half a century, Mrs Lord has been volunteering at the Broken Hill hospital and encourages others to volunteer their time too.
“I’ve loved doing it for all that time. There’s nothing better in the world than being able to bring a smile to a face that looks so sad and you can cheer them up with a few jokes; just be as helpful as you can and you’d love it.
“I’ve been brought up in a house where you were always taught that you must get organised into volunteering.
“My mother did hospital visiting and Red Cross work all her life and my father was involved with RSL hospital visiting, so I knew a bit about it.
Patients have been so impressed with Mrs Lord’s kindness that a few marriage proposals were popped during weekly visits.
“I think two, ha ha ha, but I think they were coming out of an anaesthetic!
“There’s all sorts of experiences, so you often built up quite a relationship with a patient.
“But I think people’s needs are much the same. It’s often a letter that they want (written) but they’re not really feeling well enough to write, or they’ve come without their glasses.
“And people in an accident, of course, often come without anything.
“I do have plenty of energy still (at 85) and I do hope it keeps up, so I can continue.”