An insight into how skilled volunteering can bring a special kind of meaning and purpose into your day to day work. 

Date: 23 September 2020

Anna and Margaux are two of Sony Foundation’s Star Volunteers, who give their time and skills to support the operation of our You Can Stay program. Based at program partner, Quest Hotels and Apartments HQ, Anna and Margaux are often the first points of contact to warmly welcome patients, and their families/carers, to the program by coordinating their stay. They always ensure the administrative side of their stay, from room bookings to managing the government paperwork, is hassle-free for the families, so their focus can remain on treatment and recovery.

Here we take five with Anna and Margaux as they share their experience volunteering for You Can Stay has bought a whole new meaning to their career.

Margaux: The families we are supporting are often under immense financial and emotional stress at the time when we first connect. They are often in a state of shock, coming to terms with various aspects of treatment and surgery, and that can obviously be quite overwhelming. Family members often need to look at taking time off work and organising other aspects of life to ensure they can be present and support the young person battling cancer, so there’s a lot to consider.

Every story I hear and family I encounter sticks with me. I feel so much joy when I hear the news that a patient is in remission, and equally, my heart goes out to families when sometimes the news is not so positive and there are complications. I am constantly astounded by the resilience and strength of the families and young people I encounter and it’s truly a pleasure to get to know them.

For us at Quest, it’s really just about being receptive to the family’s needs, understanding and making the process as simple as possible, so accommodation is one less thing they need to think about.

It’s a very humbling experience when you can help someone. It fills me with pride to be part of this program in my role at Quest, and adds an additional layer of meaning to my role and career.

Anna: Being part of You Can Stay has opened my eyes to the burden these families and young cancer patients have in travelling to access the treatments they require due to living regionally or remotely. Securing access to suitable accommodation without financial burden hopefully provides some relief to families, and for me personally, I gain a sense of pride and purpose.

I can only imagine the emotional stress that the patients and their support networks are under at the time of diagnosis.

Being able to alleviate some of the administrative rigmarole is positive. At that time, families need to be able to focus on what really matters – the health of their loved ones, so our job is to help make that possible.    

I love that the program can ease some of the burdens faced by these young cancer patients and their families/carers. Being able to support and help them stay somewhere comfortable and convenient during a tough time, as well as providing some financial relief is extremely rewarding.



Sony Foundation is always looking for skilled volunteering support across any professional skill. If you are interested in volunteering, drop us an email at info@sonyfoundation.org.au and share with us a bit about your skills.






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