Local Bundaberg resident Beres Mooney started volunteering with Australian Red Cross at just eight years old and hasn't looked back since.
At the recent Australian Red Cross AGM, Beres was presented with an Honorary Life Membership of the Australian Red Cross, the highest honour awarded by the organisation.
Beres has been volunteering at the Australian Red Cross Bundaberg branch for over 20 years, having held the President position for 13 years and more recently, as Vice-President and patron.
Humbled to receive the honour, Beres said she had always loved volunteering with Red Cross and started in Cairns when she was just eight years old.
“I started at school and I did that for a couple of years and then broke away from it until I moved here,” Ms Mooney said.
“After breaking my leg, I went in to hire medical equipment from the Red Cross and they said to me when you get everything organised, come and join us.
“So, after 18 months I went back and have been there ever since.”
Beres credited her longevity with the organisation to the fantastic friendships she had made and her desire to continue to keep active.
“I have made a lot of great friends and enjoy being active,” Ms Mooney said.
“I have been Secretary of the Diabetic Support Group and President of the social group here, so I have done lots of things,” Ms Mooney said.
Beres has volunteered across a number of Red Cross initiatives, being part of the meet and greet desk at the Bundaberg Hospital, the Friendlies Hospital Library Trolley services, the Mobility Equipment Hire Service and an on-call volunteer for afterhours emergency MEH service, to name a few.
Throughout her years of service, she has been instrumental in leading the branch including developing and enhancing the financial sustainability of branch activities.
She did this by obtaining many grants and significant donations used to purchase equipment for Mobility Equipment Hire and the Branch.
Her commitment to the community was recognised when Beres was awarded the Bundaberg Regional Council Senior Citizen of the Year Award in 2017.
AGM Celebrates dedicated volunteers
The recent 82nd Australian Red Cross Bundaberg Annual General Meeting was one of celebration, with a number of volunteers acknowledged and awarded for their hard work.
In addition to recognising Beres, the branch also presented two National Service Awards to Edith Snaith and Donnie Bartholomew.
Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey attended the meeting and congratulated the Red Cross and its members for providing a range of beneficial services in the region.
“The Australian Red Cross is such an integral service within our community, providing support to those who need it most,” he said.
“After an uncertain 18 months it's great to see Red Cross' services and support present throughout our region.
“Congratulations also to the award recipients and thank you for your continued efforts.”
President of the Bundaberg Australian Red Cross Branch Carol Delnevo said that while the organisation had its challenges over the past year, the services provided wouldn’t have been possible without their volunteers.
“As always, our volunteers are prepared and give great support not only to those in need but also to the Branch,” Ms Delnevo said.
“Our members have done us proud, by filling in the gaps when required and often working long hours without complaint.”
The Bundaberg Red Cross branch provide a range of services to the community including their mobility equipment hire service, trauma teddy’s and a Meet ‘n’ Greet service at the Bundaberg Hospital.
The AGM included the handing down of the financial and convenor’s reports as well as a acknowledging recipients of honorary life memberships of the Australian Red Cross and hearing from guest speaker Kay McDuff.
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