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Three women standing at picnic table

Win Secombe, Life Member of the United Hospital Auxiliaries of NSW, with Wauchope District Memorial Hospital’s Nurse Manager Judy Beilby and Acting Director of Nursing/Executive Officer Helen Byrnes.

UHA of NSW grant highest honor to Wauchope’s Win Secombe

Sep 03, 2020

Wauchope’s Win Secombe has been awarded the United Hospital Auxiliaries of NSW’s highest honour – Life Membership.

The 82-year-old was nominated by fellow members of the Wauchope Hospital Volunteers, judged against nominees from throughout NSW and learned this week she is now a Life Member of an organisation dedicated to supporting public hospitals and community health centres.

Described by her fellow Wauchope volunteers as “the backbone” of the Wauchope UHA branch, Win is known, and loved, far and wide in the Hastings Valley for her passion, determination and networking abilities, all in support of her beloved Wauchope District Memorial Hospital.

The former nurse, and current branch president, joined up 22 years ago and has previously held the executive positions of Vice-president and Treasurer.

But it is her tenacity and commitment to fundraising for hospital equipment that Win is best known for.

She is one of the familiar faces at the Volunteers’ monthly stalls outside the IGA in Wauchope, greeting every shopper as they walk past and extracting from them a couple of dollars in exchange for raffle tickets. When the raffle book isn’t in her hands, she is selling plants, crocheted and knitted clothes or delicious, home-baked goodies, many of which she baked or knitted herself, or convinced others to do in support of their hospital.

Win’s right-hand (wo)man, Margaret Mostyn, was quick to congratulate the branch’s much-loved leader.

“Win leads by example… asks no more of her members than she is prepared to give. In fact, it’s almost impossible for the rest of us to keep up with her,” Mrs Mostyn said.

“She knows everyone in Wauchope and uses those contacts to muster support for our fundraisers.

“Win is an extraordinary individual; a leader who is inclusive and brings everyone with her in support of our hospital.

“This year has been a difficult one due to COVID-19. We’ve had to suspend our monthly stalls and our meetings. In this time of isolation, Win has stayed in touch with everyone. It’s an extraordinary talent.”

A Medal of the Order of Australia recipient, Win remains humble about her latest honour.

“It is wonderful to receive this award, but it really belongs to every member of the branch,” Win said.

“If it wasn’t for the members, particularly those ladies who I call my legs, things wouldn’t get done.

“I’m very grateful for the nomination and very grateful for all the help these wonderful people give me.”

Due to COVID-19, the UHA of NSW’s annual conference, where Life Memberships are presented, has been cancelled this year. Win will receive her award at the 2021 State Conference in Orange.

The Wauchope Hospital Volunteers are always looking for new members.

Anyone wanting to help, while meeting new people and making new friends, is encouraged to phone Win on 6585 1268.

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