This National Volunteer Week (18 – 24 May 2020), we celebrate and acknowledge the volunteers and supporters who are the lifeblood of our organisation. In line with this year’s theme Changing Communities. Changing Lives, we wanted to highlight some of our passionate volunteer fundraisers and community advocates whose generous contributions keep us flying.
90 year old Busselton resident, Allen Scott has been fundraising for the Royal Flying Doctor Service for 24 years!
Allen activates his local community to support the Flying Doctor by encouraging donations of locally grown fruit and vegetables for production of homemade jams, relish and marmalade.
Allen and his partners in crime, Delys Forest and Jan Jones, create approximately 10 flavours of jam, a couple of different relishes and any sort of marmalade you could think of.
They take the jarred goods and a Flying Doctor table cloth to the local markets at Signal Park every Sunday to set up shop and fundraise for the RDS.
Well known among the local community, Allen receives plenty of donations and support towards his fundraising goals.
“The other day we were given 400 kilograms of tomatoes by someone from the community. We sold them and made $400 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service,” Allen said.
Important contributors to the RFDS, each year Allen, Jan and Delys raise around $10,500. So far this year, they have made 4,600 bottles of jam where all proceeds (currently around $6,000) are donated to RFDS Western Operations.
A prominent supporter of the RFDS, Allen Scott was awarded 2020 Senior Citizen of the Year on Australia Day for his volunteer work and contributions towards the Busselton Historical Society, the Probus Club of Vasse, Busselton Hospital’s Auxiliary and the Flying Doctor.
“We know that the RFDS is here for us if we need them and that they provide an important service,” Allen said.
“I have always liked them [the RFDS] and have donated to them when I can.”
We are humbled to have dedicated volunteers such as Allen who are coming up with creative ways to raise funds for our service.
If you are travelling pass Busselton, be sure to visit Allen, Jan and Delys at the Sunday markets at Signal Park and try their new Lilly Pilly flavoured jam!
Former RFDS WO Chief Pilot, Michael Bleus has been volunteering his time at RFDS events to give back to the organization.
“RFDS have been really good to me so it is rewarding being able to help them out at events and repay them for the faith they invested in me during my career,” Michael said.
Michael’s RFDS career commenced in 1973 where he adored each moment.
“I absolutely loved it. I always wanted to be a pilot and couldn’t have had a better career! Working for the RFDS I was able to combine my love of aviation with helping people in need,” Michael said.
Even after his 44 year career, he couldn’t get enough of the iconic organization. Now, he volunteers his time to represent the Western Operations section at events such as the Caravan & Camping show and Perth Royal Show.
“I enjoy all the events I attend to represent the RFDS - they are always very interesting and you hear so many stories of how the organisation has impacted and supported people across the state,” Michael said.
“You get to meet and interact with the public who are passionate about the RFDS. It is also a great opportunity to educate people on the variety if great services we provide.
“When working these events I run into former colleagues, patients and people who own remote stations which always provides fascinating conversation.”
Michael is always happy to volunteer for and support the Flying Doctor. His warmth, knowledge of the organisation and willingness to donate his time is invaluable and we are appreciative to have in on board as a regular volunteer.
We encourage you to come along to our next event and introduce yourself to Michael!
RFDS Esperance Auxiliary
The RFDS Esperance Auxiliary (Inc) and the people of Esperance are passionate about keeping the Doctor flying. Located in regional Western Australia and having limited access to tertiary healthcare services, they understand the importance of having an organisation like the Royal Flying Doctor Service available for emergency aeromedical retrievals and primary healthcare services.
This vibrant group of supporters are ambassadors for the RFDS and maintain a strong presence in their local communities by rattling donation tins, organising raffles, hosting BBQs, firewood cutting, providing catering services, and attending events to raise funds for the RFDS.
Earlier this year the Esperance auxiliary funded and organised local artist Phil Shelton to paint a mural in Esperance to commemorate 90 years of the RFDS and honor founder, Reverend John Flynn.
The attention grabbing mural features key aspects of RFDS’ history and includes details on donating to keep the Flying Doctor flying.
The Esperance Auxiliary have raised more than $140,000 for the Flying Doctor since their establishment in 1996 and are an enthusiastic group of volunteers whose ongoing support is truly valued by the RFDS.
Ann McLeish and partner Gary Griffiths have been ambassadors for the RFDS since 2008. They maintain a strong presence in their local community of Narrogin, shaking tins, organising raffles, fundraising events and trekking the countryside, all to raise vital funds for their Flying Doctor.
Ann and Gary have raised a massive $166,000 in their decade of dedication towards the RFDS.
Ann is again gearing up to do another walk for RFDS in September this year. Trekking the 187 kilometres from Narrogin to Newdegate Ann is hoping to surpass the $200k mark of her fundraising goal!
With the cancellation of events and field days, fundraising will be a little more challenging but she is as determined as ever to get there.
We wish Ann the very best in her walk and would like to thank her and Gary for their unwavering passion and determination in fundraising and volunteering for the RFDS!