Yass resident Pamela Ranyard has been nominated for the 2023 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award on account of her fundraising efforts for the Yass Hospital Auxiliary. Julie Armstrong, who nominated Pamela for the award, describes Pamela as the epitome of a volunteer, as stated in her nomination post. 

 

“In recognition of hard work, perseverance and personal commitment,  I would like to nominate Pamela Ranyard for the 2023 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award. Pam, you have opened your home to provide the means to raise much-needed funds for our hospital.  We have frequently spoken and shared our personal experience and I truly believe that you are the epitome of a volunteer. Please permit me to submit a nomination on behalf of the Yass Valley Community”, said Julie. 

 

The Yass Valley Times spoke to Pamela Ranyard about the nomination, why she was nominated and what her volunteer efforts have been, as well as what the nomination can mean for the Yass Hospital. 

Starting in August of 2022 and continuing until April of 2023, Pamela has offered her home as an area for garage sales and fundraising events to support the Yass Hospital Auxiliary, with hopes of the funds being used to upgrade the palliative care room. The decision was inspired by the passing of her late husband in January of 2022. 

 

 “After he passed, a few months went by, I started to think that being on my own I’d always been a community person, worked in the community, volunteered, and also I was a business person. I thought that I still had energy within me, and felt that it was better to place that energy into doing something”, said Pamela, discussing the history behind the decision

One of the many Yass Hospital Auxiliary garage sales

“I thought I know what I’m going to do, I’m going through the hospital auxiliary, which I’d been a member for some years but hadn’t been active, I went to a meeting and suggested I’d be prepared to make use of our shed and perhaps, with some donations through the community, we could see whether or not we could raise some money to get that palliative care room a little bit happier looking. That’s how it started”, said Pamela. 

 

The garage sales and fundraisers consisted of a double garage, shed, multiple gazebos and even Pamela’s own house. 

“That was a big thing to take on, and with relative permission, I opened the front part of my home, the lounge room and entry. I moved my personal belongings out and covered my furniture, and we set up a beautiful display and so many people passed through my home that day”, said Pamela. 

 

The sales raised a total of $23,300 for the Yass Hospital. 

 

On community response, Pamela notes that, outside of her nomination, the community has been overwhelmingly supportive, providing donations and handwritten letters. In return, Pamela assures the community that all efforts support locals, going back into the town. 

 

“The community has just continued to donate, the donations I’ve received are always messaged to me. I just can’t say enough how amazing the donations have been”, said Pamela.

 

“It’s important that the community knows that the money that we raise stays here in Yass. It goes into an account with the hospital auxiliary in Yass and will be spent on patient comfort and needs at the hospital”. 

 

On her nomination, Pamela revealed that, for her, the importance was to show recognition for the Hospital Auxiliary, rather than herself. Pamela revealed that she had known her nominator, Julie Armstrong, through similar causes, as Julie was running garage sales to raise money for cancer. 

 

“I was a bit humbled and said no to start with but then I thought to myself maybe it will be nice for the hospital auxiliary to have that recognition. They don’t get a mention that often but we’re always out there doing things. If somebody in the community has thought that I should have that recognition then I thought, okay, let’s do it for the hospital auxiliary”, said Pamela. 

 

Griffin Palen