STOP THE SUFFERING: Former volunteers at Sunshine Hospice protest their membership applications being refused.
STOP THE SUFFERING: Former volunteers at Sunshine Hospice protest their membership applications being refused. Michele Sternberg

No vote for hospice volunteers

DEDICATED Sunshine Hospice volunteers, including one who made a sizeable donation in November, are furious their applications for membership have been rejected.

An estimated 40 volunteers received a brief four-line letter of rejection just weeks before a meeting to decide the future of the hospice board.

Only financial members are eligible to vote at the meeting on October 8.

"There was no apology or a thank you for their hard work ... just a rejection of people's applications to join," said one angry volunteer.

The letters stated: "I have been directed by the Board of Directors of the Sunshine Hospice Ltd ... to inform you that your application for membership of the company has been rejected. I have returned with this letter a cheque refunding the fees that you paid."

The benefactor, whose application was also rejected, declined to be named but said she was upset by the rejection as she had been a big supporter of the hospice for many years.

Sunshine Hospice board chairman Dr Frank Lewins said membership applications were being approved and every application "was considered individually".

"We are not going to sign our own death warrant by supporting a form of branch stacking," he said.

"They withdrew their services and have cost us a lot of money and yet they want to be a part of it?

"If they have a grievance, they can contact us."

Former Tewantin op shop volunteer Edith Boulton said she and other former volunteers wanted a say in the future of the hospice.

"We thought we would do our job and (the board of directors) would do theirs.

"We should have seen it happening when they changed the name from Katie Rose Cottage to Sunshine Hospice and then they closed the hospice.

"We didn't even think of questioning it but then when we did, we found we had to become a financial member ... but it's too late, they won't let us," she said.

"We are little people but we still deserve a voice."


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