Bethanie, Western Australia’s most recognised not-for-profit aged care and retirement living provider, has over 4,500 Western Australians in their care and simply couldn’t operate without the 550-odd volunteers they treat as part of their team.
At Bethanie Elanora Retirement Village, they have been working with local Bunbury business, Cummins South Pacific on a volunteer program. 59-year-old employee Steve Walls underwent a volunteer service and came out a true winner, making a long-term friend and choosing to continue his volunteering in his own time.
Steve wanted to connect with an elderly male, having not had a father growing up. He wanted to learn all about an elderly gentleman’s life through the years and hear about his highs and lows.
Bethanie Elanora Retirement Village Manager Lyn Ferguson says, “I figured my 90 years- young customer, Colin Gaines, would be just right for Steve. I sat in on the initial meeting and all parties enjoyed the conversation and banter between the ages.”
For the next meeting and those that followed, Lyn allowed the men to meet on their own. In August, Steve completed his volunteer service with Cummins South Pacific and decided he wanted to extend his volunteer time, within his own personal time.
Steve now visits Colin on a weekly basis, and they are enjoying each other’s company immensely, Steve even taking Colin to Cummins South Pacific to see where he works and meet his colleagues.
Bethanie Chief Executive Officer Chris How says, “As is the case here, quite often our volunteers need us as much as we need them, so it really is a greater good for all involved.
“Whether it’s through social interaction with a resident like this or transporting customers, running a group or just helping with the dishes, every little bit makes such a big difference to help brighten the day of our customers.”
For information on Bethanie’s Volunteer Programme contact Bethanie on 131 151.
Find out more about Bethanie.