Illawarra local wins charity’s volunteer of the year award
Jennie Marsh from Mallua Bay, Illawarra, has won Camp Quality’s “Gillard Volunteer Award” for her tireless work helping to create a better life for kids living with cancer in NSW, coinciding with National Volunteer Week (11 – 17 May).
Jennie, 56, has volunteered with Camp Quality for five years and is now a Camp Leader, where she plans specialised activities and coordinates other volunteers at Camp Quality’s resilience-building camps for children living with cancer and their families across the state.
Tegan Davies, Camp Quality’s Volunteer Advisor, said: “As a parent of a child who had cancer, Jennie understands what Camp Quality parents are going through, so she’s passionate about or work and has mentored other volunteers, too. She has been a Camp Companion (providing one-to-one support for a child living with cancer) and has progressed all the way up to a Camp Leader. We’re delighted to honour her in this way.”
Jennie March: “In 2004, our son was diagnosed at age 15. After 7 months of treatment, he joined Camp Quality and learnt to have fun again. My joy is now being a volunteer and bringing the laughter and sunshine back into the lives of the children and their families. It’s about making hearts smile again.”
The Gillard Volunteer Award, named after one of Camp Quality’s longest standing board members, is given out annually to one person per state who has gone the extra mile for children living with cancer. The charity has over 2,500 volunteers nationwide, so competition is tough. Together those volunteers donated approximately 300,000 hours to Camp Quality in the past year. The charity has just over one hundred staff so volunteers help it to save considerably on costs, as they outnumber staff members by 23:1. This means every donated dollar goes right back to where it’s needed the most: to the kids.