Volunteers make a difference at Calvary Cessnock

Calvary has over 14,000 volunteers that devote their time to care for others. Our volunteers at Calvary Cessnock Retirement Community, in the NSW Hunter Region, are living examples of how volunteering not only makes a difference in the lives of others, but also has a positive impact for the volunteers as well.

Volunteer Doug Thoma’s life has changed greatly since he started at Calvary Cessnock. Doug started volunteering 12 months ago,  following the completion of a Certificate 3 in Aged Care after being made redundant. His volunteering often involves cooking BBQ’s, driving the facility bus, facilitating activities like dominos and men’s shed as well as being a companion for many residents who may need someone to talk to. The experience he gained through volunteering aided him in gaining employment as a Care Service Employee at Calvary Cessnock.

Calvary Cessnock currently has 28 local Cessnock residents that devote their time to residents. Each volunteer is matched to activities based on their skills and allocated a particular lodge where they help staff and support residents.

The volunteers are supported by Volunteer Coordinator Therese Fitzgibbon. Therese emphasises that “Volunteering is a great way to kick start your career. It provides you with experience that you can use to gain employment. In the aged care industry being around and caring for the residents is valuable when seeking job opportunities. It also shows the prospective employer that you are a reliable and committed person”. Therese has spent 13 years in the Volunteer Coordinator role and in that time has got to meet a variety of dedicated volunteers.

Therese said “sometimes volunteers can be short term. It is all about discussing what our needs are as an organisation and what they want to get out of volunteering”.

Rhonda Halverson is a new volunteer. Rhonda starting volunteering as she wanted to devote her time to others. She loves volunteering as she enjoys seeing the smiles on the faces of residents.

Therese emphasises that volunteering can be a rewarding experience. “Volunteers are part of a team, everybody’s role is important and no one’s role can function without others. Volunteering also provides the opportunity to make new friends.”

If you would like further information on volunteering please contact Therese on 02 4993 9129.