People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge.
With National Volunteer Week held from 17–23 May 2021, ACH Group will celebrate the significant contributions its volunteers make.
There are 250 volunteers across ACH Group, including Susan Field and Sue Morris, who give their free time to support a broad range of social experiences, group activities, and specialist programs.
For Susan, volunteering at ACH Group’s Yankalilla Centre residential care home was a natural choice, as her career was dedicated to the aged care sector.
“I worked in aged care for 26 years in various residential care homes in Adelaide. When I moved to Normanville, I knew I wanted to find somewhere in the area where I could continue to contribute,” she said.
Susan believes having the experience in aged care only meant she was passionate about supporting older people.
“I came in with a broad range of experience, but you do not need a skillset or previous experience in aged care to volunteer here; you need empathy and kindness,” she said.
Amongst Susan’s activities as a volunteer is supporting the ‘My Reflection Group’ where residents can share life memories with each other weekly.
“This is a great way for residents to connect with each other on a personal level – like getting to know your neighbour’s life story and realising you have more in common than you thought,” Susan said.
Sue volunteers weekly at ACH Group West Park residential care home in Goolwa and is known by all residents on site for her positive outlook on life. Sue provides support for residents in each of the 10 cottages at West Park.
“We run weekly get-togethers, at times we do craft or just sit and chat about general topics. Recently we were talking about going to Mars and what has been in the news; the conversation led to us thinking about what we would pack for an intergalactic trip”, she laughed.
ACH Group’s Volunteer Manager, Tay Parker, thanked the organisation’s volunteers.
“ACH Group is extremely fortunate to have a large group of passionate volunteers, dedicated to supporting good lives for older people,” she said.
“Volunteering benefits both the volunteer, and residents and customers. “For residents and customers engaging with volunteers expands their social network and connects them to new experiences depending on the skills and background of each volunteer.
“The benefits for volunteers include staying in touch with your community, making connections, enhancing life experiences, making friends and keeping you healthy mentally and physically,” she said.
ACH Group is currently seeking volunteers in a wide range of roles.
If you would like to know more about volunteering with ACH Group, please contact Tay Parker, ACH Group’s Volunteer Manager, via email TParker@ach.org.au or visit achgroup.org.au/work-with-us/volunteers/
Pictured: Susan finishes a round of mini-golf with Yankalilla resident Gwen