Baker de­lights in vol­un­teer­ing

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Street Watch - Is­abella Pat­ten-wil­liams

THE act of giv­ing back comes eas­ily for Glenn Baker who was hon­oured for years of tire­less vol­un­teer work at the WA Vol­un­teer of the Year Awards.

Mr Baker won the Life­time Con­tri­bu­tion to Vol­un­teer­ing Award on Wednes­day night.

He said the win took him by sur­prise and ev­ery nom­i­nee and vol­un­teer de­served to be recog­nised.

“I sup­pose it goes with­out say­ing you never ex­pect to win and in an en­vi­ron­ment like vol­un­teer­ing, there are so many vol­un­teers in Aus­tralia, you never know whether what you have achieved comes close to what some­body else has achieved,” he said.

“When your name is read out and they say you are the win­ner you think wow, some­body must think what we have done is re­ally spe­cial.”

Mr Baker was in­stru­men­tal in es­tab­lish­ing Ron­ald Mcdon­ald House Perth 27 years ago, ini­ti­at­ing fundrais­ing for the orig­i­nal RMH af­ter los­ing his child to cancer.

Thirty years ago, his son Adam was di­ag­nosed with leukaemia and was re­ceiv­ing in­tense che­mother­apy at Princess Mar­garet Hos­pi­tal.

Mr Baker iden­ti­fied the need for re­gional fam­i­lies with a se­ri­ously ill child to have a “home away from home”.

“We had a child who had cancer and my wife was con­fronted on a daily ba­sis with par­ents that had come from the coun­try and had no fam­ily sup­port mech­a­nism,” he said.

“That’s when the idea of a Ron­ald Mcdon­ald House in Perth was born. We were well aware of that par­tic­u­lar char­ity in Syd­ney and Mel­bourne, so we be­came in­volved with a group and started fundrais­ing with the ul­ti­mate aim of pro­vid­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion for ru­ral fam­i­lies whose chil­dren were un­der­go­ing the treat­ments for cancer.”

He said that one of the key el­e­ments to run­ning a suc­cess­ful en­ter­prise was to keep the or­gan­i­sa­tion re­freshed.

Su­bi­aco res­i­dent Juliet Wil­liamson re­ceived the Ex­cel­lence in Vol­un­teer Man­age­ment award.

Gov­er­nor Kerry San­der­son, Glenn Baker and An­drew All­sop from Sil­ver Chain.

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