Raelene giving to others

For Raelene Dennis, her own experiences of being in hospital have led to her passion for improving patient wellbeing.

Raelene spent a great deal of time in hospital when she was young and while she still faces health challenges, she regularly gives her time to bring cheer to patients by playing the harp to them each Wednesday at Benalla Health.

Raelene said she has been visiting the acute ward and Morrie Evans Wing since the start of last year.

“I feel like I can make a difference by bringing my harp along – the patients respond really well to it as some are frightened to be in hospital and just need something that can help them relax,” she said.

“Some go to sleep while they are listening to the music and that makes me think that it is helping them become calmer and they really enjoy the experience.”

Raelene said she started playing the harp after a heart operation at a Melbourne hospital.

“The chaplain brought it to me and it is something you can play with one hand, which is really helpful when you have health restrictions,” she said.

“I have played many instruments over the years, including the piano, button accordion and the violin but this instrument is really beautiful.”

“There is no written music for the harp – it is like waterfall music and I really enjoy volunteering my time at the hospital.”

Chief Executive Officer Janine Holland said Raelene’s story was reflective of the benefits of volunteering.

“Our volunteers are an integral part of our service,” she said.

 “At Benalla Health we have volunteers working across different areas of the health service including community-based palliative care, the Day Activity Centre, Morrie Evans Wing and acute services.”

“Our patients, clients and residents benefit greatly from the care our volunteers provide.”

For more information about volunteering, phone Rosemary Teasdale on (03) 5761 4374.


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