May 30, 2023

Mum, student and corporate lawyer still makes the time to give back

Volunteer biographer Sandra Campbell with Sarah Mellowes
Volunteer Sarah Mellowes with palliative care patient, Sandra Campbell. [Source: Supplied]

For corporate lawyer, university student, mum of two, and volunteer, Sarah Mellowes she saw how important it was to document the lives of palliative care clients for them and their families.

As part of HammondCare’s Life Stories program, Sarah has written three biographies so far for a range of clients including 47-year-old Sandra Campbell who is receiving palliative care after a pancreatic stage 4 cancer diagnosis.

Sarah, who lives in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, documented Sandra’s story in a series of recorded interviews which she then turned into a 35,000-word biography for Sandra and her two children, Allegra and Xavier.

For Sarah, a lover of writing, balancing her professional life with volunteering is crucial in order to give back to the community and prevent loneliness in aged care clients.

Having no grandparents residing in Australia, Sarah found that interviewing palliative care clients and immortalising their stories created a strong sense of fulfilment for all involved.

“Where I get the fulfilment and the joy from is their faces when they talk about a beautiful memory in their life or even just talking about their favourite food – for me, that’s why you do it and I think that they get a lot out of it as well,” she said. 

“You’re not a family member or somebody they know. They can unload a lot of different stories and bounce things off you that they might not share with other people.

Sarah found the biography program after being inspired by the ABC TV’s Old People’s Home for Four Year Olds series and joined the 30 volunteers that write about 35 biographies a year for palliative care patients.

Sarah found time to write the biographies during a break from practising corporate law while she finishes her Master of Laws at the University of Sydney and she recommends anyone with a passion for writing or listening to stories to consider getting involved.

“It’s a lot of work and it does take up a lot of time and energy but you certainly get a lot of fulfilment from it.”

For more information about the biography program, visit the HammondCare website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Age is Just a Number

Get Bold Not Old is part of an ongoing campaign by Feros Care to show that age is just a number, and that the elderly members of the community are larger than life. In October, there as a call for the public to enter photos into the photo competition to celebrate our senior citizens. And... Read More

ABC to investigate sexual abuse in aged care

In the wake of the ABC’s revealing investigation into aged care, the broadcaster is now calling for members of the public to come forward with information about sexual abuse in aged care. During the Four Corners investigation, the ABC team received a number of reports of sexual assault in residential aged care, which has led them... Read More

Dysphagia and Nutritional Considerations

Swallowing is a vital part of every person’s life that can often be taken for granted. We need this process to help consume food, beverages and medications. Without it we would not survive. Swallowing is a complex process that involves various muscles, glands and nerves. As people age, many will find that they have trouble... Read More
Advertisement