Rhonda Doyle: Westfield Local Heroes 2019
Retiree’s ‘love job’ helps with cancer travel costs
Central Coast Kids In Need
Selfless. Caring. Incredible
Retired hairdresser Rhonda Doyle volunteers for 30 hours a week at Central Coast Kids in Need, where she and 17 others help the families of seriously ill children who must travel to Sydney or Newcastle hospitals for treatment.
The need is high and growing, with the charity helping more than 2500 families since Rhonda joined 17 years ago.
“I call it my love job,” says Rhonda, whose title is treasurer but is effectively the co-team leader with her sister Lorraine, the charity’s secretary.
She is honoured to be voted a Westfield Local Hero. “The people that we help are just so grateful. In this financial year alone, we’ve helped 172 families and outlaid roughly $96,000 worth of support.”
The charity started out helping dozens of families a year but has increased to more than three hundred.
Assistance includes accommodation and travel costs as well as funding for medication, specialist formula and quality-of-life equipment.
Rhonda says families often have to pay thousands of dollars for accommodation while their children receive treatment for leukaemia or other types of cancer.
“Many mums have to give up their jobs even though they have mortgages. Without our help, they could lose their homes.”
Apart from her treasurer duties, Rhonda is the first point of contact for social workers and families and is actively involved in fundraising.
“When I took on the role of treasurer in 2003 I had no bookkeeping or computing skills and was a one-fingered typist,” says Rhonda. But she stepped up to the task and in 2015 won an award for being a top not-for-profit treasurer.
Rhonda is the longest-serving active member of Central Coast in Need and has been awarded Life Membership for her dedication, commitment and hard work.
Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. Central Coast Kids will use its grant to help cover the growing cost of accommodation and travel for families in need.
“It will go a long way to helping even more families,” says Rhonda.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.