Since its inception in April 2007, the Drovers Alice Springs Hospital Volunteer Service has met with astonishing success, attracting more than 70 volunteers and the support from many businesses and organisations throughout Alice Springs.
For most patients, their initial contact with the Drovers comes during the volunteers' daily rounds through hospital wards. The Drovers supply a book and magazine trolley that also provides toiletries, reading glasses, puzzles, pencils, cards and anything that can help the patients pass the time or cater for their needs. Visitors to the hospital will also encounter Drovers at the information counter, where help people find their way around the hospital and offer other assistance.
Patients who need transport to the bus depot or airport will often find themselves chauffeured by a Drover Driver. Drovers are on hand to collect families of interstate visitors from the airport. Volunteers will run simple errands for patients who are in hospital and are far from the support of family and friends. Drovers help tourists involved in car accidents, storing their cars, caravans, feeding their pets and helping them find their way home.
When needed, Drovers also help with the feeding of patients. They provide a tea and coffee service most mornings to patients in the Emergency Department. Our volunteers entertain children in the Paediatric Ward to give parents a break, they organise hairdressers, massages, and the washing of patients' clothes. Drovers read to patients and do many other tasks that provide a small comfort to patients and their families.
Financial support from the community has enabled the Drovers to buy 15 televisions for the Critical Overflow Ward, six portable DVD players, reading glasses, toiletries, paints, and pencils. Drovers also sew clothes for premature and still-born babies and knit beanies for children and adults.
As Drovers, our vision is to provide the right care, in the right place, at the right time. Wherever there is a Drover there is a chance for kindness.