Sally Jones, Shirlyn Davies and Heather Johnstone are three of the many, dedicated volunteers around the country who will be recognised as part of International Volunteer Day on 5 December.
The trio of caring locals volunteer at not-for-profit residential home Mercy Place Mont Clare every week, where they are unanimous in their view that they’re there to make seniors smile.
From assisting with activities including picnics, card making, bingo, quizzes, concerts, trips out and about in the western suburbs, and even karaoke, the volunteers all offer their time during the week – though they also admit they gain so much more than they give.
“Mercy Place Mont Clare is a caring home and a lovely place to spend time,” says Dalkeith resident and volunteer Sally Jones, whose mum was a resident at Mont Clare for three years before passing away earlier this year. Despite the loss of her mother, Sally has continued to visit the home each week in a volunteer capacity, to visit residents.
“It’s a really peaceful environment and being a volunteer there is both a heart-warming and a special thing to do, you really do get so much more than you put in.”
“Volunteering with the residents makes me feel like I have given something back to the community and gives me a real sense of achievement,” adds Heather.
“I look on the people at Mont Clare as friends and I really enjoy their company, I have got to know them and I like to go around and talk to each of them individually,” adds Shirlyn.
Mercy Place Mont Clare Service Manager, Joan Lowney, said that the organisation’s volunteers were the unsung heroes of the Mercy Health community.
“We are very fortunate to have so many committed and dedicated volunteers like Heather, Sally and Shirlyn who are willing to go the extra mile for our residents,” she says.
“Volunteers make an invaluable contribution to Mercy Health and International Volunteer Day just gives us a great excuse to publicly recognise both their generosity of time and their big hearts.
“I think it’s also important to acknowledge that staying active and engaged in the community becomes all the more important as we age, so volunteering is a great way for locals who have a few spare hours on their hands to get involved, and we would always welcome any locals who would like to learn more about volunteering to get in touch with us.”