Elva; Volunteer Champion
The work volunteers do for the community cannot be underestimated with many going unrecognized.
One such Wangaratta volunteer, Elva Lovett, has been working at North East Health for the past 30 years and has only recently been recognized with a "Victorian Premier's Volunteer Champions Award" for Service.
North East Health spokesperson Kerryn Mitchell says the award acknowledges the great work volunteers do and especially Elva in Emergency.
"I think it's a great recognition of the really important role that volunteers play especially in the emergency department, it's quite a stressful environment as a patient or as a family member and having the calming influence of Elva there by your side to help you through it, it's great recognition of what she does".
Ms. Mitchell says all the work she has done for North East Health has been appreciated which includes her famous Pancake Tuesdays.
"Elva started with us 30 years ago in our paediatric ward, she was an activities volunteer down there and did that for near on 20 years and was known very well for her "pancake Tuesday's", and then approximately 10 years ago we approached her to take on the lead volunteer role for the emergency department to develop the emergency liaison volunteer role".
Kerryn Mitchell has known Elva for most of her life says Elva is a typical volunteer who cannot understand why she has been given the award.
"Elva I have known for most of my life, and she's been a very active community member, not just for North East Health but across things like Special Olympics, as a church elder and all sorts of other activities in the community. She's your typical volunteer; a very reluctant recipient of this award, she could not understand why she was so worthy".
Kerryn says those responsible for nominating her found no difficulty in ticking all the boxes why Elva should be recognised.
"The nominations flew off the page for us when we started talking about her warmth, her ability to put people at ease, her willingness to go the extra mile for whatever needed to be done. She is just a true volunteer in the sense".
Elva has dedicated 30 years of her life to North East Health and every Christmas makes sure those working in emergency are catered for.
"One of the key thing in the nomination was that Elva sacrifices her Christmas Day, she doesn't spend it with her family she chooses to spend it at the hospital to ensure that our emergency department staff actually get a Christmas Day, and I think that just really shows her commitment to making sure that everyone in the community gets to celebrate something like Christmas Day".