Volunteers sitting in the phone room

Volunteering from the heart

Manj Senn has been a phone room volunteer since 2010, giving back to the hospital that helped her newborn son.

When Manj Senn first signed up to volunteer in the Good Friday Appeal phone room, she didn’t know how indebted she would feel to The Royal Children’s Hospital one day.

Manj has been volunteering in the phone room since 2010, initially volunteering to give back to the community and as her cousin had brain surgery at the RCH as a child.

Dylan and Manj at the RCH

But her reason for volunteering changed when she had her son, Dylan, and the RCH became a second home to her family.

Dylan, was born with a small or underdeveloped jaw and a cleft palate. He had surgery on his jaw and spent the first three months living on the Butterfly Ward at the RCH. Dylan is still under the care of medical teams at the RCH.

“The care the nurses and doctors gave us was unforgettable. Anything we can do for the RCH, like working in the phone room on Good Friday, is nothing in comparison to what they’ve done for us,” Manj said.

Manj is joined by her sister and two cousins in the phone room each year, a tradition for the family.

Manj, Belinda, Rosanne and Tania in the phone room

“I have 9 nieces and nephews, and four of those have all been looked after by the RCH over the years for serious health situations so I feel like we are forever in debt to the RCH.”

This year Manj and her family were back taking donation calls for the 90th Appeal and just a couple days later her son was at the Hospital having emergency surgery on a tooth and stayed in hospital for a week.

“I was trying to do something helpful and give back to the hospital and 48 hours later I felt like I was already calling in a favour.”

Manj said she loves volunteering in the phone room and hearing the stories of why people are calling to donate.

“Some are heartbreaking but many are just an overwhelming sense of gratitude because of their experiences with RCH, which is my feeling as well.”

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