This International Volunteers Day, Tuesday 5 December 2023, Red Nose Australia celebrates the significant role our volunteers play. Volunteers help us in our mission to save little lives and support grieving families. From peer support to community volunteers to fundraising and to organising Walk to Remember events – our hundreds of volunteers contribute so much to Red Nose. Many give their precious time and effort to support bereaved families after the loss of a little one.
Our volunteers are people like Hayley Reeves and Jacinta Ryan, who turned their unimaginable child loss into a powerful force for good, organising the remote town of Normanton’s first ever Walk to Remember event in October this year.
Walk to Remember events are an opportunity for anyone affected by the loss of a pregnancy, stillbirth or the death of a baby or child to gather and walk the steps their children never got to take. It gives families the opportunity to openly talk about their babies and children with people who have experienced a similar tragedy. It also allows them to build connections with their community.
Volunteering for Red Nose not only provided Hayley and Jacinta the support they needed as bereaved mothers, but it also strengthened their friendship and paved the way for a support network for the community.
“Knowing personally how many people within our community had been affected by loss, I felt it was significant to acknowledge people’s journeys, and create an atmosphere where they felt comfortable to come together,” says Hayley.
Jacinta Ryan’s own experience of losing baby Keeley to stillbirth, and being inspired by a supportive community, led her to join forces with Hayley.
“We wanted to give back to the community that had supported and continue to support us through our grief journeys,” says Jacinta.
“With about 50 participants in Normanton’s Walk to Remember, we proudly walked from the Mutton Hole Wetlands to the Albion Hotel in memory of our little ones,” says Jacinta.
Many of our volunteers also tell us that volunteering is a meaningful way for them to give back to the organisation that helped them through the pain and difficulty of their own losses. Volunteering allows them to pay it forward so future families have access to the same caring peer support.
Quotes attributable to Keren Ludski, CEO, Red Nose Australia
“This International Volunteers Day, I’d like to thank our hundreds of Red Nose volunteers who give their time so generously to our programs and those on our 24/7 Grief and Loss Support Line. It is because of their incredible generosity that we are able to provide support to thousands of families around Australia. We are so grateful to you.”
“This year, there were 19 Walks to Remember in Australia and without volunteers like Hayley and Jacinta, Red Nose wouldn’t be able to run Walks to Remember across the country. If you’ve been inspired by Hayley and Jacinta’s story and would love to give back, please click the link below. We look forward to welcoming you to the Red Nose volunteer team!”
The Red Nose Grief and Loss Support Line is available 24/7 for anyone affected by pregnancy loss, stillbirth or the death of a baby or child on 1300 308 307.
Media contact: Maria Salvador at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0402 941 493.