Giving back to the community

FOR Gawler Health Service volunteers Lyn Perry and Rochelle Baldock, volunteering is a way to show pride in their local community.

“I really love living in Gawler and I just wanted to give something back, and also give myself something rewarding to do,” Mrs Perry told The Bunyip, ahead of National Volunteer Week next week.

The pair form part of the Gawler hospital’s Community Services arm, which takes care of the social support needs of patients and a wide range of other support services for the hospital.

Mrs Perry, a former executive assistant for the chancellor of Flinders University, now puts her experience to good use as functions and events co-ordinator, while Mrs Baldock, a former nurse, helps organise and run a social club for dementia patients.

Despite their specific roles, both women help out in a wide array of duties, including by taking patients out for a bit of shopping therapy or transporting them to medical appointments.

“Volunteering, if it’s run the right way, should be win-win for both,” Mrs Perry said.

“It should be a win for the clients and a win for the volunteers, because you care for the client and the client is so grateful.

“To see them smile and say thank you, honestly, it’s a really lovely feeling.”

Describing herself as a “Gawler born-and-bred girl”, Mrs Baldock said it was fulfilling to volunteer to help community members in need.

“If anyone sits at home, not doing anything, I recommend that they just come out – there’s so many places out here in Gawler that they can be doing something,” she said.

“I do find that, doing this, you do meet really good people – especially the elderly people of the community who are just so knowledgeable, and you learn so much from them.”

In honour of National Volunteer Week, Gawler Health Services’ Community Services unit will hold a special morning tea on Friday, May  25, to thank volunteers from across the region, including the Tanunda, Kapunda, Angaston and Eudunda hospitals.

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Matteo Gagliardi joined The Bunyip in August 2016 with almost two years experience in regional print media, having previously worked at a community newspaper in Swan Hill, Victoria. Covering politics, local government and crime, Matteo likes to sink his teeth into hard-hitting issues, but also enjoys spending time getting to know the Gawler community. Matteo also has a passion for science, agriculture and the environment, and has previously worked as a media officer at the Australian Science Media Centre.

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