Enjoying a simple conversation and putting a smile on the faces of the residents he visits is real sense of satisfaction for volunteer John.
Every fortnight John gives up his time at our Westbourne Park residential aged care site as a Community Volunteer, engaging with a number of regular residents in one-on-one conversations about anything and everything.
“I try to get them to talk and find the touch points that really light up their eyes,” said John.
“And if I can get them talking and there’s a bit of a brightness in their face because they get quite animated about what they did in their working life or a particular hobby or interest – I’ve really achieved my goal.
“If you can get a big cheery smile when you walk in the room – and they’ve clearly not been feeling too good – and their face lights up, that’s the satisfaction, probably more than anything else.”
After retiring in 2019 from a successful career in retail, in particular shopping centre management, John wanted to be able to give back to the community that had been so good to him.
“I had thought for some months before retiring, that I really would need to do something else to keep engaged with people,” John said.
“And I think there was a real sense of wanting to give back. I felt that I’d been given a lot of opportunities in my working life, so giving back to the community, in some form or another, that’s what I’d do.”
Customer Wellness Coordinator Jennifer Pilling said the Westbourne Park team were grateful to have such a wonderful Community Volunteer in John who makes so much of a difference with his visits.
“John truly cares about the residents and their stories,” Jennifer said. “They enjoy discussing topics of interest to them and so the resident leads the dialogue and John follows.
“Families of residents also enjoy John visiting and will chat to him when he comes in.”
At AnglicareSA, we’re proud to have around 300 volunteers who give their time to support people in need. Volunteers are an integral part of our support services — their generosity and commitment enable us to deliver a broad range of services to the South Australian community.