With International Volunteer Day on Saturday 5 December, a trio of northern suburbs residents are united in their belief that volunteering at a local not-for-profit aged care home is not only rewarding, it also gives a great sense of fulfillment and gratification.
Hammersley resident Alan Williams, Kingsley local George Wakelin and Landsdale resident Maria Redman all volunteer at Mercy Place Edgewater every week, where they socialise with residents, accompany them on walks in the garden and help with various activities, including morning exercises.
“I became a volunteer in aged care when I lost my wife more than 12 years ago, and I really wanted to do something worthwhile and meaningful,” says 75-year-old Mr Williams. “I found that it’s a wonderful thing to do, in fact it’s been one of the best moves I’ve made in my life; making a difference to someone’s day is extremely rewarding, and I love the fact that it’s a small way of giving back.”
“It is wonderful to be able to spend time with the older generation who have so much learned wisdom and have had so many interesting life experiences,” says Mr Wakelin. “I would say to anyone who might be interested in volunteering that nearly everyone could get something out of it. If you have some spare time on your hands I would thoroughly recommend volunteering in some capacity.”
Maria Redman adds: “Now I’m retired, it’s just great to have some time to volunteer and do something for other people. I find volunteering with the seniors so rewarding, they enjoy us coming in so much and taking time to socialise with them, and as far as I’m concerned it also gets me out of the house, so it’s a win-win all round.”
Mercy Place Edgewater Service Manager, Surabh Nair, says Mercy Health’s volunteers are selfless and caring members of the community.
“We are very fortunate that Alan, George and Maria have chosen to volunteer at Mercy Place Edgewater, and in the time that they have been with us have built up a great rapport with individual residents, and have certainly brought them joy and friendship,” he says.
“Strong relationships are so important to peoples’ lives and we know that having passionate volunteers and staff in aged care homes who bring a sense of ‘togetherness’ makes a significant contribution to the quality of life of those in our care.
“Indeed, we are very fortunate to have so many committed and dedicated volunteers who are always willing to go the extra mile for our residents, and International Volunteer Day gives us a wonderful opportunity to recognise them.”
Mercy Place Edgewater will recognise its volunteers with a special morning tea to celebrate International Volunteer Day.
Find out more about Mercy Health.