Just over a year ago, sick and lying in a hospital bed in Sydney, Taylor Doyle was a name known to this community, as they supported her and her family to get the surgery she desperately needed for her Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome.
A year on, Taylor has just completed 100 hours of volunteering and her goal is to do 1000 hours.
Taylor is a determined young woman who when she sets her mind to something she forges ahead to achieve it.
This past weekend she reached 105 hours of volunteering as part of her Grand Prior Award with Hato Hone St John.
The volunteering part of community service is only part of what is required to reach her Grand Prior.
Over King’s birthday weekend Taylor will be on camp learning more about communications, styles and forms of communication, how to effectively communicate and why communication is important.
‘‘There are 27 badges in total to choose from to gain the Grand Prior, six are compulsory and you choose six others to do along with the 100 hours of community service. The six compulsory badges are drill, first aid, St John, community awareness, communications and caring giving,’’ Taylor said.
Having achieved the volunteering hours required for the award Taylor is now working on the 900 more to reach her goal, ‘‘because I like to help people and to have bragging rights at St John’’, she said.
The Grand Prior is the gold award, with Taylor having already gained her green and blue awards.
At the rate she is working, coupled with study and work, she hopes to achieve the award within 18 months.
She has been a member of St John for 10 years beginning as Penguin (junior member).
She became a ‘‘super penguin by gaining all nine badges’’.
The 15-year-old’s career goal is to be a cardiothoracic surgeon.
Previously Taylor worked in a pet shop, then covid came along followed by her illness.
She was thinking about what she would like to do for her volunteering.
‘‘I was walking past Rosebank Resthome and Hospital one day and thought I wonder if they would like a volunteer, so went in and asked, and yes they did,’’ she said.
Taylor has been volunteering at Rosebank for just over three weeks now.
Rosebank manager Sue Prowse said having Taylor was great, ‘‘as it gives an intergenerational experience not only for the student and residents but also with staff.
‘‘It’s been a positive experience and she is learning things like time management with her schoolwork and other commitments.
‘‘It’s a two-way thing for Taylor and us, and it’s lovely to hear about what the youth are up to, it’s wonderful,’’ Sue said.
Taylor isn’t the only student currently volunteering at Rosebank there are three others who do it as part of their schooling.
Having the students volunteering at Rosebank is a great for all involved, ‘‘as it teaches the young people about the wider world, it gives them opportunities and they can learn about the what happens in the health industry,’’ Sue said.
Taylor said, ‘‘It’s fun coming to Rosebank. I’m learning lots and like the stories from the residents.’’
As well as volunteering at Rosebank, Taylor has undertaken a variety of other volunteering opportunities including marshalling at national St John competitions, helping renovate a bedroom, dog walking and washing, attendance at Anzac services, making tug toys for the SPCA, teaching macrame at a Girl Guide camp, helping at the St John Fete, Children’s Day, school athletic prelims, Citizens Advice Bureau and a Melody Makers concert.
As well as working towards her Grand Prior, Taylor is aiming for District Cadet of the Year this year and has her eye on the Regional Cadet of the Year in 2024.
As well as schooling and Hato Hone St John, Taylor shoots, is practicing for the school production and works at the Stork Network.
In March 2023 when Taylor was in Sydney for her life changing surgery, ‘‘the community raised $20,000 in nine days to support me and my family, my volunteering and giving back to the community is the least I can do,’’ she said.
Youth Week was May 15-21. Leaders of tomorrow? Leaders for today! a week for celebrating the young people in our community like Taylor.