Calvary St Paul’s Volunteer Ailsa Celebrates Over 15 Years of Service
8th May 2017
Local Cundletown resident Ailsa Turner has supported the residents of aged care facility Calvary St Paul’s Retirement Community for the last 15 years. Ailsa is one of the 6 million volunteers across Australia that will be celebrated as part of National Volunteer Week (8th -14th week).
Ailsa has lived in the Taree region her whole life. Born and bred in Wingham, she has worked in many roles locally including in a delicatessen, as a Manager at the local Seafood factory and on her family dairy farm. Once retired she started volunteering.
Ailsa initially got involved in volunteering through a friend. She sewed nightwear, bags for cosmetics and assisted with mending any clothes for residents. She enjoyed being part of the Calvary St Paul’s community and her role soon developed.
As part of a team of six volunteers at Calvary St Paul’s, Ailsa’s volunteering involves supporting the Leisure and Lifestyle program by helping with the knitting group, craft group, taking residents on outings and gardening.
Alongside these tasks, the volunteers also fundraise so that they can provide the residents with Birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas gifts.
The team run raffles throughout the year and community fundraising luncheons.
In September Calvary St Paul’s volunteers hold their annual Dutch auction. The goods auctioned are donated from local businesses and money raised goes straight back into the aged care facility. Ailsa said “Each year we are given wonderful donations from local groups including vouchers, products and services. We generally raise around $2000 to $3000. There’s a lot of behind the scenes work to run these events”.
“Every cent we raise goes back in to support the residents. I love seeing the smiles on their faces. It’s great to receive their cuddles and know that they appreciate the work you do for them. It makes you feel good”.
Ailsa emphasised “I love volunteering. I get to meet so many great people and learn their stories. Some have gone to war while others have had amazing careers. Volunteering is a two way street. You get pleasure from seeing how happy they are. Anyone that is thinking of volunteering I say do it. Don’t sit around the house, get out there and make a difference to the lives of others”.