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Brisbane’s volunteers changing lives in the aged care sector
2 Jul 2012
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AROUND 80 volunteers are helping change the lives of hundreds of Nundah aged care residents through fundraising, supporting lifestyle programs, leading special interest groups and companionship.

The Zion Lutheran Home volunteers have raised $65,000 over two years to buy a Toyota HiAce nine-seater bus, run a thriving bargain centre, lead activities such as knitting and visited residents to uplift their spirits.  

 

In addition, the volunteers have donated goods each year to Zion including beds, wheel chairs and dining room furniture. 

National Volunteer Week will be held from 14-20 May and this year’s theme is 'Volunteers - Every One Counts.' It highlights the role of volunteers in our communities and says thank you to the more than 6.1 million Australians who volunteer.

The Zion Bargain Centre sells donated pre-loved goods such as clothing, books and collector’s items.

Each volunteer works two shifts a week and many have been involved for more than 20 years.

 

Lorraine Daly has been committed to the long haul. Each Monday she leaves her Kallangur home at 5.30am to make the journey to Nundah to itemise and price goods at the shop.

 

“Many positive things have come from volunteering for me like friendships, self-confidence and a sense of fulfilment from helping the community,” she said.

 

“I’ve always loved being part of the community.”

Recent retiree Duncan Ferrie frequently visits the service to help residents overcome anxiety and depression through one-on-one visits.

 

“I’m here to make their lives brighter and we share jokes of course,” he said.

 

“I start conversations and develop friendships with them.

 

“Volunteers are needed to look after you when there’s no one else to listen.

 

“When your world turns upside down volunteers step in to give help and hope.”

 

Northridge Heights resident Eileen Kussrow has volunteered for 16 years at Zion visiting twice a week.

 

“I get involved with service events like fetes and any activity-based get togethers,” she said.

 

“Everyone needs someone at some time in their lives and if you’re capable and mobile why not do it?

 

“It doesn’t hurt to help someone smile and that to me is very good personal therapy.”

 

Nundah resident Elaine Hoey leads the Zion Knitwits each Monday from 10.30am.

 

“We are making knee rugs for the residents in wheelchairs and socks for them also beanies to send to children in Africa,” she said.

 

“Instead of sitting around I can knit and help other people and there’s a lot of wool here.”

 

Zion Lutheran Home General Manager Maria Mulheran said she was grateful to the volunteers for their great contribution to the residents’ wellbeing.

 

“Volunteers play a very important role and are a valued part of our team,” she said.

 

“We really appreciate their individual contributions and the fact they give up their time freely.”

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