Inverell Home Support honours volunteers with free lunch
“You may not realise it, but you are real-life superheroes,” Robin Campbell told a room full of Inverell Home Support (formerly HACC) volunteers on Wednesday.
The service was thrilled to reward the group for their generosity with a free lunch at the RSM Club.
“Without volunteers, none of our services would run,” Inverell Community Transport co-ordinator Jacque Pay said.
“We have approximately 45 volunteers on our books at the one time, so that’s a lot of people that offer a lot of hours of service. Paid staff, we couldn’t do our job without them.”
The event was part of National Volunteers Week, which seeks to highlight the vital role volunteers play in our communities. This year’s theme is ‘Give a little. Change a lot’.
Four different Home Support programs benefit from volunteers, who drive clients in cars and buses, help those with mobility issues in and out of the vehicles, assist with craft activities and help run the dementia group’s lunches. The Ashford Multi Service Outlet, which comes under the Home Support banner, has a number of volunteer cooks.
“(It’s about) the satisfaction of helping people and getting out and meeting people,” volunteer driver Janet Mepham said.
“It’s a wonderful service. I hope that it’s still going when I get to that stage so somebody can do it for me.”
Once a week for the past five years, Ms Mepham has driven Home Support clients to and from medical appointments in Armidale and Tamworth. She said they are always very grateful for her contribution.
Ms Pay said the service’s volunteers were incredibly generous with their time, with some drivers taking up to nine hours of their day to transport clients.
The volunteers range in age, and until recently, the eldest bus driver was 80-years-old.
“He was older than some of the clients he was taking! Just things like that that you’ve got to stop and think about what they actually give to the people of Inverell,” Ms Pay said.
This article by Naomi Shumack first appeared in the Inverell Times on the 23rd May.