Volunteers making a difference

Bethanie Volunteers
Volunteers (L-R) Rachel, Heidi, Susan and Joelene

The 18 – 24 May is National Volunteer Week and a time for retirement living provide Bethanie to reflect on and thank their 550 odd volunteers for their altruistic efforts. 

Volunteering Australia’s 2020 theme is aptly titled “Changing Communities. Changing Lives.” It is the annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers.

Bethanie volunteers have the opportunity to undertake an array of jobs across Aged Care Homes, Living Well Centres and Retirement Villages, as well as supporting Bethanie clients in their own homes. Volunteer work includes things such as gardening, cooking, driving, sports, games and arts and crafts.

Due to COVID-19 many volunteering opportunities came to a halt, however there are still so many who are contributing in a wonderful way such as organised contact with residents over the phone, sending messages through letters and doing up cards and crafts to send to residents.

A great example of volunteering has been from WA Pharmaceutical company Boehringer-Ingelheim who have been busy during COVID-19 volunteering across five of Bethanie’s Living Well Centres. 

The Living Well Centres they are volunteering at include South Perth, Kwinana, Mt Claremont, West Perth and Port Kennedy and have all been closed during COVID-19, allowing a team of 12 volunteers to come in and do some outdoor maintenance at each site such as gardening, hedging bushes, repotting plans and generally ensuring the centres are tidy and ready to welcome back Bethanie clients as soon as it is safe.

Senior Medical Sales Representative from Boehringer-Ingelheim, Susan Sklark said, “Our company usually offers employees one volunteer day a year to help with any organisation we choose, but due to COVID they offered us up to 10 days. I did some research and contacted Bethanie which is when I found out about the Living Well Centres being closed and so with COVID and social distancing, it was as perfect fit for our team to split up and get into each centre.”

Over the course of a month the team has been splitting up and visiting each Living Well Centre and Bethanie is extremely grateful for the extra help.

Bethanie CEO Chris How says Bethanie understands the importance of volunteers and honouring their service to the community, especially during trying times like these.

“With over 4,000 Western Australians in our care, we simply couldn’t operate without our 550-odd volunteers. Each one is an integral part of our team and plays a central role to the provision of the high-quality care which we pride ourselves on at Bethanie.

“Whether it’s through social interaction with a resident, running a games group like bingo or even those who can help with one off special events, every little bit makes such a big difference and really helps to brighten the day of our clients. 

“In April we had 70 new expressions of interest to volunteer, which is quite incredible given these uncertain times. A special thank you goes out to all of our volunteers and we really look forward to welcoming everyone back after COVID-19, as well as taking on some new ones.”

For further information on Bethanie’s Volunteer Programme please contact Bethanie on 131 151.