Anam Cara Geelong is a community service committed to providing care for people affected by life limiting illness. Anam Cara Geelong offers support to people of all ages and denominations who are seeking hospice care within the Geelong and district communities, by providing access to day respite, short term Palliative respite accommodation, Community Outreach and end of life palliative care.

How a smile can make a world of difference

How a smile can make a world of difference


As one of our longest serving volunteers, Carmel has experienced all of the ups and downs that come with volunteering at Anam Cara House.

After losing a close cousin to cancer, and having been through the journey with her, Carmel  decided that she wanted to help others who were going through a tough time of their own. When asked why she volunteers Carmel’s response is simple;

“I want to help very special people through a difficult time. Volunteers play a vital role in the guest’s lives, not only as a helper but also as a confidant. Sometimes I think people keep things to themselves from those closest to them, but they do seem to open up to us……someone they don’t know as well”

Throughout 10 years of volunteering at Anam Cara Carmel has assisted in various volunteer roles. On any day she may be welcoming and settling in our carer’s accommodation guests with a smile, fulfilling office duties, supporting our palliative care guests in either Day Hospice or part of the roster for 24 hour palliative care, assisting at functions and events, fund raising, providing representation at committee meetings or being a “buddy” to new volunteers.

“One of my favourite things about volunteering at Anam Cara is getting amongst the guests to chat and have a laugh with them. It is such a happy place-it sounds strange but it truly is, said Carmel.

“We have had many funny days and there are always sad days too, especially when you hear someone, who you have been caring for has died.”

For Carmel, the most rewarding part of working at Anam Cara is that you can help bring happiness and a smile to someone’s day.” You know, sometimes just a smile makes a big difference in life. To know that you have helped someone and possibly bought a glimmer of happiness to their lives is so humbling”.