Volunteers recognised on International Day of Older Persons

Celebrating senior volunteers
Celebrating volunteers Kaye Winthrop, Lesley Craggs, Anne King and Jenny Lilee

More than a dozen volunteers have been recognised at a Kwinana-based Neighbourhood Centre on International Day of Older Persons, which is celebrated on Thursday 1 October.

The volunteers, all of whom are seniors, volunteer at Frank Konecny Community Centre, where they help on a regular basis by assembling food hampers and toiletry bags for local disadvantaged families, in addition to knitting pouches for orphaned joeys at a local animal sanctuary.

Manager of Frank Konecny Community Centre, Sussan King said the senior volunteers had always been committed to helping others but had shown even greater dedication since the Covid-19 shutdown at the start of the year, which saw many local families lose their homes and jobs.

“Our senior volunteers have been incredible this year, and their commitment to our Centre and the local community has enabled us to strengthen our services to those who are most disadvantaged,” says Ms King.

“As a result, we recognised their contributions on International Day for Older Persons with a celebratory morning tea, as this gives us a great opportunity to recognise their kindness and commitment for others throughout the community, particularly since the start of the pandemic.”

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Older Persons is celebrated annually on 1 October to recognise the contributions of older persons and to examine issues that affect their lives.

Jane Chilcott, CEO of peak body for WA-based Neighbourhood and Community Resource centres, Linkwest, said that International Day for Older Persons gave centres the perfect opportunity to unite and celebrate the seniors who volunteer to help others.

“Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, as well as worthwhile causes and those in the local community, but the benefits can be even greater for those who actually volunteer, as people meet others, learn new skills and have a great sense of appreciation for helping others,” she says..

“Volunteering can also lead to new friendships, which in turn is connected to emotional wellbeing. This is why our centres play such an important part in the community, as we have seen throughout the year during the COVID crisis, where 96 per cent of centres, even during the lockdown, continued to provide services.”