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Volunteer Week - Volunteers Give Happy and Live Happy at Donovan Village
Posted by Marketing on May 12, 2015

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When Donovan Village resident Mr Tony Snook was approached to help out driving the village bus for outings and shopping trips, little did he know that 11 years later he would still be taking fellow residents on weekly trips. Mr Snook, a former licensed aircraft maintenance engineer, moved into Donovan Village 11 years ago with his wife.

Soon after moving in, he offered his time to become the volunteer bus driver, takinge fellow residents from both Donovan Village and adjacent Jeremiah Donovan House on outings and shopping trips. Southern Cross Care (WA) Inc. (SCC) organised his ‘heavy vehicle license’ so he now drives both the SCC bus and the larger shire bus.

 “I remember a time when I drove some residents from Jeremiah Donovan House to the local school. One lady was very grumpy and did not want to get off the bus. We had just decided that there was nothing we could do but take her back home, when three school kids turned up. A big smile appeared on the lady’s face as the children took her by the hand. She was the happiest woman on earth. It was so beautiful to see and has really stuck in my mind.”

Mr Snook is just one of six million volunteers in Australia. Research has shown that volunteers are happier, healthier and sleep better than people who don’t volunteer. The experience of helping others provides meaning, a sense of self-worth, a social role and health enhancement.

At Southern Cross Care (WA) Inc. we are extremely proud of our wonderful volunteers who all contribute in a different way. Volunteers are be engaged in a wide range of services, from being a bus driver, kitchen assistant or gardener to helping with crafts, pastoral care or office work.

Volunteer Coordinator Margaret Melrose said: “This week we celebrate ‘National Volunteer Week’. We are taking this opportunity to thank all our volunteers for the important role they play within the organisation. Local sites will celebrate the event by organising special ‘thank you’ functions to acknowledge and appreciate the active contribution of our volunteers. We are so grateful for the time they offer as their work makes a tangible difference to our clients’ lives.”

Established in 1989, National Volunteer Week is the largest celebration of volunteers and volunteerism in Australia, and provides an opportunity to highlight the role of volunteers in our community and to say thank you to the more than 6 million Australians who volunteer. The theme for National Volunteer Week 2015 is “Give Happy, Live Happy”.

This is certainly true for Mr Snook who thoroughly enjoys his time as a volunteer. He advises everyone who ever contemplated becoming a volunteer to give it a go: “I really enjoy driving the bus. It is fulfilling to see the pleasure that others get out of their outings. Some residents do not drive themselves anymore and it makes them happy to do something different in their day.”

When asked what his plans are for the future, Mr Snook says he has no intention of stopping yet. “I never see it as a task or an effort, it is more like a hobby that I enjoy doing,” he said.

SCC always strives to match a volunteer’s preferred work and skills with the organisation’s needs, to achieve a happy and rewarding experience for everyone involved. If you or someone you know, would like further information on how to become a volunteer, please contact Margaret.

 

Contact: Margaret Melrose, Volunteer Coordinator – mmelrose@scrosswa.org.au

 

For more information on National Volunteer Week visit www.volunteeringaustralia.org       

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