Finding Purpose after loss: Neville's story of healing through service

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Neville manages the library cart at Hervey Bay Hospital, weaving through the busy halls with a warmth that belies his own struggles.

A dialysis patient and cancer fighter, Neville finds solace in delivering magazines, puzzles, and books to fellow patients.

This simple act of service has become his lifeline after the death of his mother, who he had cared for full-time.

“I had poor mental health; I was sitting at home doing nothing; I had no enthusiasm to do anything”, he said.

Volunteering has allowed for a new lease on life.

“Since starting this, I have become a lot more enthusiastic about doing things at home, and it gets you going.

“On a personal level, I don’t make friends easily, and unfortunately, all of my close friends don’t live close by, so this has been a wonderful outlet for me, and there are plenty of lovely people you chat to”.

When not on dialysis, you can find Neville carefully curating a diverse collection of reading materials donated by generous businesses and community members, ensuring there is something for everyone.

His favourite moment is being able to fulfil a request.

“There is an English magazine, and there’s a few expats here, and people love it,” he said.

“I have had a few people ask for it specifically, and it was so exciting to be able to say, ‘Yes, I do have it’.

“Or often men a quick to say they don’t want a magazine but they just light up when I hold up a car magazine and ask ‘Are you sure?’

“You can have a day where you get a lot of ‘Nos’, but when you get struck by someone who wants to have a chat for 5 or 10 minutes and that alone makes the day worth it.”