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It was an outpouring of appreciation and love at the Daphne Street Early Learning Centre as staff and customers – both past and present – farewelled long-serving volunteer Anna who has decided it might be time to retire.

For 43 years, Anna has delighted in the joy of working with children in volunteering her time and immeasurable love at the centre, initially starting out at what was then known as the St Mary’s Children’s Home.

“There were a few day care children in the centre back then and those that didn’t go to school stayed back with a kindergarten teacher and we looked after them during the day,” Anna recalls of the early days at the home.

“I used to help take the others to school and pick them up again, volunteering from 8 until 4 – then I’d go home.”

Over the years the home transitioned to what is now AnglicareSA’s early learning centre, but one thing has been a constant – Anna’s loving presence.

She has seen generations come and go through the doors, supporting children who became parents to children who years later were enrolled at Daphne Street also benefitting from her care and compassion.

“It gave me it gave me something to do because staying home wasn’t healthy, so it was important to me to mix with children and parents.”

Recognised with a 2017 Anglicare Australia Volunteer of the Year Award, Anna’s service to children and their families is deservedly celebrated says Grace Frost, Manager, Early Learning Programs.

“Anna would arrive at the centre early in the morning and could often be seen sitting with, and supporting the transition of the children,” Grace says.

“She is an invaluable asset and will be very sorely missed.”

If you’d like to volunteer with AnglicareSA, click here.