Volunteers experience joy through helping others

Tuesday, 14 May

The benefits of volunteering stretch far beyond helping others.  For Mervyn Stanton, volunteering has given him “extra life”.

The 2018 Uniting AgeWell Volunteer of the Year Tasmania will be among 700 volunteers Uniting AgeWell celebrates this National Volunteer Week (20-26 May).

The 91-year-old’s volunteering journey began shortly after his beloved wife, Margaret, moved into Queenborough Rise Community.  He brought pot plants in from home and set them up outside her window, gaining the admiration of residents, family members and staff who visited the area.

“I noticed how many other residents used to comment on these begonias outside the window,” he said.

Over time, Merv become increasingly valuable to Uniting AgeWell.  He has also transformed gardens at Queenborough Rise, and Rosetta Communities Strathaven and Strathglen, along with establishing a gardening club for residents at Queenborough Rise.

He facilitates lifestyle activities for residents, including the crossword group, resident quiz, and bingo, assists with the weekly bus trips and participates in the weekly church service.

Merv says he “simply helped the staff and bit by bit I found I could do more”.

“The staff at Queenborough Rise are a marvellous bunch to work with and the residents over the years have become friends and family to me,” he said.  

“There have been so many things I could do to help.”

Across Uniting AgeWell, volunteers like Merv have provided friendship, contributed to events, gardened, supported lifestyle activities, and carried out office administration, transport assistance, home visits and entertainment.

Uniting AgeWell CEO Andrew Kinnersly said volunteering was a great way to learn new skills, gain work experience, make friends and have fun.

“Most importantly, volunteering allows you to enrich the lives of others,” he said.

“National Volunteer Week is a great way of highlighting the vital contribution volunteers make to the community and for us to say thank you.

“We could not provide the high level of care our clients enjoy every day without our loyal and devoted army of volunteers and for that we are very grateful.”

For information about becoming a Uniting AgeWell volunteer, contact T: 9251 5219 for Victoria or email volunteers@unitingagewell.org.