Uniting Bowden Brae welcomes its newest and youngest volunteers during National Volunteer Week
As the nation celebrates its millions of volunteers this week, Uniting Bowden Brae Residential Aged Care home in Normanhurst was excited to welcome 10 new helpers from nearby Uniting Church school, Pymble Ladies College Junior School.
The enthusiastic group of Year Six girls were introduced to the residents for the first time on Friday 12 May and will continue to visit them every fortnight for an hour throughout the year.
Deputy Head of PLC Junior School, Nerissa Davey, said the girls had put their hands up to give up their own free time to volunteer at Bowden Brae.
“We’re very proud of them and we’re hoping they’ll get as much out of this experience as the residents here and it’s really great for the girls to learn how much the aged have to offer and how much they can learn from them.”
Uniting Volunteer Lead, Gail Yap, said the brand-new partnership with PLC Junior School is an exciting opportunity to invest in the next generation of volunteers.
“Volunteering is so important to our communities. Volunteers help to bridge generations and cultures, and in many ways compliment and extend formal service provided by organisations such as Uniting. Our country has been experiencing a decline in volunteering over the last decade and working with young people is just one of the ways we can invest in the next generation of volunteers”.
“In aged care, volunteers play a critical role in helping residents continue to live their chosen lives, by facilitating their favourite activities and providing often much needed companionship. When it becomes harder to visit the community, volunteers bring the community to them,” Ms Yap said.
For the residents at Bowden Brae, meeting the young volunteers from PLC Junior School for the first time proved to be a cause for celebration, one resident even getting her hair done at the on-site salon for the occasion – one-time former Head Mistress at PLC Junior School herself – Rosalie Ramsay.
“It’s so wonderful to see the girls here. They’re so friendly and I think they’ll get a lot out of it, and they’ll make a lot of people here very happy just by being here,” Ms Ramsay said.
Resident Victor Poon was also very happy to meet the girls and spend time with them. “It cheers the people up here. We don’t often have visitors, so this is a very good for the place to have these young people make the time to come and visit us.”
Year Six student and volunteer Emma Fogale said other than giving to those who need it, volunteering also provides more opportunities for future career development.
“I think volunteering will help you choose a better job because you’ve had that opportunity to meet people and have a better knowledge of relationships with different people.”
Uniting NSW.ACT has more than 1,100 volunteers who give their time across 120 different teams – many of which are in seniors services such as aged care homes.
“We need volunteers now more than ever. So, we encourage anyone who would enjoy building meaningful connections, has a few spare hours each week and would like to help the vulnerable members of the community, to get in touch with us,” Ms Yap said.
For more information, contact Uniting Volunteering Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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