• Research
  • Discovery
  • Development
WIRF is one of Australia's leading organisations that is dedicated to improving the health of women and infants.

Volunteers Program

  • WIRF coordinates more than 100 volunteers who work tirelessly to support the Foundation, the hospital and its patients and staff.

    The Foundation is immensely proud of its volunteers. Their hard work and commitment directly benefits women and babies in WA through our research grants program and by supporting patients and visitors to King Edward Memorial Hospital.

    Many of our volunteers work in the hospital’s café/gift shop and op shop, and others provide vital support for clinic patients. Our volunteers coordinate baby packs for the Social Work Department to provide to families in need, and memory boxes for the hospital’s Perinatal Loss Service.

    We also have over 300 community knitters and sewers who make specialised garments for use in the hospital’s special care nursery, and comfort blankets for the oncology patients. There are a number of different opportunities available depending on your interests, skills and level of experience.

    Areas where volunteers give support:
    • The Café/Gift Shop
    • The Opportunity Shop
    • Patient support in Wards, Clinics, Social Work Department, Perinatal Loss Service
    • Hospital Office/Ward Administration
    • Event/Marketing/WIRF Administration and Assistance
    • Drivers for our Merchandise box deliveries and pick-ups (Perth Metro)
    • Knitting / sewing clothes for preterm babies and our Perinatal Loss Unit.

    Becoming a volunteer at WIRF provides you with:
    • A sense of involvement
    • Opportunities for friendship and social contact
    • A way of giving back to the community
    • An interesting and dynamic workplace
    • A chance to use existing skills and develop new ones.

    If you’d like to be a part of our friendly Volunteer team, please contact our Volunteer Manager.
  • I feel very fortunate to have spent 11 years as a volunteer in the Outpatients’ Oncology in the West Wing, where I have made many friends, patients and staff alike.

    It is a pleasure and a privilege to serve morning tea to the lovely patients, who show such resilience in what, at times, must be very frightening circumstances.  They are often very keen to chat about their illness, their hopes and fears.  This has certainly helped me become more aware of the emotional toll placed on them and their families, and also their great strength.

    With this in mind, it is very heartening to hear their constant praise of the wonderful staff and facilities at the hospital.  They are also very appreciative of all the volunteers who take time out of their day to care, when indeed it is very much our pleasure.

    Lo Egerton-Warburton, Outpatients’ Oncology Volunteer, West Wing

    I have been knitting and sewing for KEMH for twenty years.  Not being as mobile as I would like means I can make little garments from home and it has given me enormous pleasure. 

    Having previously worked in the Social Work Department I know that all donations from the volunteers will be used to help the mothers and babies. Apart from clothing there is a need for wraps, pillows, cot bags and other items.  As a volunteer you are helping not only the mothers and their babies but helping to ensure  the continuity of the quality of care that the hospital is well known for. I think the benefits from volunteering are huge and I thoroughly recommend it.

    Ros Bishop, Social Work Department Volunteer of 20 years and currently an External Knitter and Sewer

    Volunteering is not about “doing good things” but about doing things you enjoy. Working here at the hospital provides an opportunity to meet people, socialise and see another side of life. If you live alone as I do, it is interesting to have another pursuit which may help others instead of vegetating at home.

    Raie Bradshaw
  • We are extremely grateful to our volunteer knitters and sewers, living all over WA for the time and effort taken in making baby clothing and blankets.

    If you would like to volunteer your time to knit or sew for the babies in the King Edward Memorial Hospital special care nurseries and for our Baby Bundles program please follow the below patterns. These patterns have been approved by our healthcare specialists at KEMH.

    Unfortunately, we cannot use garments made from unapproved patterns in our special care nurseries but are happy to take them in our hospital shops to raise funds for research.

    Knitting Patterns

    Sewing Patterns
  • WIRF Volunteers run the Foundations Opportunity Shop at King Edward Memorial Hospital. It is a great place to grab a quality bargain or donate your near new baby, maternity and women’s clothing items. The Op-Shop is located on the lower ground floor next to the Cashiers Office.

    For donors convenience we also have a donation bin at the front of our shop.

    All the donated, pre-loved items go a long way toward helping KEMH patients and savvy outside shoppers with an opportunity to purchase affordable and beautiful clothing for themselves and their babies. We also have a large range of beautiful new hand knitted jumpers, cardigans, caps and bootees. New crocheted rugs are another much sought after item.

    The Op Shop is open from Monday to Friday, 9.30am - 2.30pm.

    Donation guidelines: 
    • Items must be free of stains, tears and pilling. The tag should be readable and it is preferable not have a child’s name on the item. The clothing should be washed and ironed.
    • Acceptable donations include baby and kids clothing (from premmies to kids size 12), women’s wear including maternity (for new and expectant mums), prams, port-a-cots, baby blankets, muslin wraps, toys and books.

    We regret we are unable to accept electronic items, bric a brac and jewellery.

    The funds raised from the Op-Shop assist WIRF to conduct essential research studies into women and infants health.

    Follow our Facebook page to keep up-to-date with the very latest from the Op Shop.
After almost four decades of coordinating our dedicated team of knitters and sewers, Margaret Lay called it quits after a stellar 38 years of volunteering in September 2016.

During her time Margaret has helped thousands of parents and babies; providing support to families following the loss of a baby, as well as clothes, blankets and essentials to disadvantaged women and newborns.

View Margaret's story on Ten Eyewitness News here.

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Contact details

Women and Infants Research Foundation
Carson House, King Edward Memorial Hospital
374 Bagot Road, Subiaco, WA 6008

Telephone: 08 6458 1437
Fax: 08 6458 1642
Email: info@wirf.com.au

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