In our very first Volunteer Spotlight, we'd like to introduce Deidree, who has been volunteering for MND NSW since 2012.
Deidree has been holding stalls in shopping centres each month in the Bateman's Bay area, raising awareness about motor neurone disease and selling MND NSW merchandise to help fund the support, equipment and education services we offer to people living with MND, their carers and families.
She has also taken part in fundraising activities such as Walk to d'Feet MND events, stalls and 'Dunk the Mayor' events at fairs, and Lions Charity Golf Days whilst a Lions Club member.
Deidree decided to volunteer for MND NSW after her mother sadly experienced the devastating disease.
"In 1985 my mother was diagnosed with MND, we were referred to the MND meeting at Westmead where we both became members," Deidree said.
"My mother was diagnosed in February 1985 and passed away on the 29th October 1985."
"It was always my intention on retiring, to volunteer for MND NSW after seeing what my mother went through. So in 2003 I moved to Batemans Bay from Sydney and then contacted Kym Nielsen to enquire about merchandise, and a visit to Sydney was planned to pick up the stock."
"Whilst here in the Bay I have been a volunteer for several groups and have meet some very nice and interesting people, one of the groups that I joined the same year as MND has obtained for the Bay an Indoor Aquatic and Cultural Centre, which I am quite proud of, as there was not a warm water Therapy Pool here in the Bay, people would have to travel to Ulladulla or Nowra for warm water therapy."
Deidree feels 'volunteering is important, to be able to get the story out so that people can learn about the cause you are raising funds for', and that having helpers can make the experience more rewarding not just for the volunteers, but the people she is assisting.
"Our days doing the stalls always amaze us to how many people know someone with MND, and especially the generosity of people. On one of our stalls a young girl from Wagga was with friends and that day all her friends ended up with beanies, and just the other day a young woman from Junee, purchased all of our Travel Mugs plus other items, both having lost someone close," she said.
"I am lucky to have some really nice people helping me, Bronwyn Hargreaves (her brother died of MND) is also a Grief Counsellor, Phil Penman (his wife died of MND), and Barb Gellatley, a good friend, all believe in volunteering and what we all achieve by doing it. We all honestly hope that listening to their stories and talking to them, that maybe we are helping them through their grief, we hope so."
If you would like to volunteer like Deidree, contact Marcia Lazo at