THE small kiosk run by the Inverell Hospital Auxiliary that runs just inside the front doors of the Hospital has hit troubled times, as one of the ladies who regularly works behind the counter has decided to retire after 11 years of service.
Val Gainey is the current vice-president of the Auxiliary and has worked behind the kiosk counter with current president Margaret Daskey for many years, but has decided to step aside.
The problem is there is no-one there to take her place.
Hospital volunteer co-ordinator Katlyn Helslingen said there are about five or six ladies who have been running the kiosk over the last couple of years.
“We’re really after more volunteers to run the kiosk, whether or not those volunteers want to join the auxiliary or not is up to the individual, I’m just trying to build the number of volunteers for the kiosk,” Ms Helslingen said. “My idea is that the more volunteers we have, the less each volunteer has to do.
“If this kiosk has to close, then there is nowhere within walking distance for the patients or visitors to get food or drink.”
Without more volunteers there is the distinct possibility of that happening.
The kiosk is currently run by the hospital auxiliary but with its membership waning for some reason Ms Helslingen has had to make her plea for more volunteers to help.
Currently the auxiliary has only 16 members and only half of those are active members.
“The auxiliary is in desperate need of members,” Mrs Daskey said. “Over the years its donated many things to the hospital, sometimes only little things, but things that mean a lot to the patients.”
Ms Helslingen said there just does not seem to be the number of people joining the auxiliary anymore.
“Numbers are down, probably because people have reached retiring age,” Ms Helslingen said.
“I know Operation Operating Room (OOR) does a lot of fundraising and do an excellent job, but the auxiliary is a good organisation too.
“It’s a love of community thing and a strong auxiliary not only assists to provide services and support equipment it’s a chance for people to find ongoing friendship and companionship.”
Ms Helslingen said any new volunteers for the kiosk would be provided with the appropriate training and vaccinations free of charge.
The kiosk at Inverell hospital was opened in May, 1985.
Statewide hospital auxiliaries raised $9,506,404.23 during 2010-2011.