Dozens of volunteers were recognised for their dedication and commitment during a function at the end of May at RAAFA’s Merriwa Estate.
The volunteers - who range in age from their 60s through to their 80s - were treated to an afternoon tea to acknowledge their significant contribution to their community, as well as being presented with appreciation certificates.
Karen Huyton, Estate Manager, says that, in many ways the band of volunteers were the unsung heroes of the community, and that RAAFA is very fortunate to have so many passionate individuals willing to go the extra mile for residents.
"Our volunteers bring companionship, friendship, joy and social connections to people throughout our friendly, popular estate and they are very important to all of us," she says.
"We were very keen to hold this celebratory event to acknowledge the support and contribution of every one of our volunteers, all of whom contribute to our community by, for example, helping residents to get out and about, delivering meals, organising events and even raising funds for our estate."
Resident, volunteer and octogenarian Norm Heath says he is very happy to help within the estate, as much as he can.
"I really like to get out and about to help others and also, quite frankly, to beat the boredom," says Norm, who hails from Scotland and spent many years in the Navy.
"I put my hand up for a number of things, including helping out with gardening, as part of the group known as the 3M’s, assisting with meal deliveries and also driving the Mustang to get residents out and about in the estate.
"In my opinion, I think it’s especially beneficial for men to volunteer, the ladies on the estate tend to be much better at getting out and connecting with each other, whereas I think the men can be a little more reserved, which is why I would encourage more chaps to lend a hand and volunteer."