• Volunteer Stories

    Walter’s loyal companion: A four-legged volunteer

    Four-legged volunteer, Quaid, formed a special connection with Resthaven Mitcham resident, Mr Walter Semmelmann, who is always first on Quaid’s visiting list! Quaid is accompanied on his visits by fellow volunteer, and doting owner, Diana Walters. She explains, ‘Many residents anticipate our visits each Tuesday, when Quaid and I slowly make our way to each … Continued

    Colours of Life, Better Together

    Recently, we have been holding a number of volunteer celebration events to show our gratitude and appreciation of the support provided by Resthaven volunteers. Manager Volunteer Services, Stacey Thompson, says, ‘We have been fortunate to be able hold these events in external venues and transform the spaces filled with vibrant colour.’ The Adelaide Pavillion ‘Across … Continued

    Musical volunteers ‘good for the soul’, says Rev Cate Baker

    It is no secret that music is good for the soul. Musical volunteers make waves as they share a familiar sensory comfort to the older people whom Resthaven supports. Coordinating Chaplain at Resthaven Paradise and Resthaven Leabrook, Rev Cate Baker, firsthand witnesses the benefits to residents that music brings. Cate elaborates, ‘Volunteers add so much … Continued

    Volunteers create meaningful connections

    Community connection is often one of the biggest reasons why people choose to volunteer, and stay, with Resthaven. This is certainly the case with Resthaven Leabrook volunteer, Chris Cornwell. With a professional background in nursing and midwifery, Chris says that she ‘wanted to help in some small way.’ ‘I began assisting the Lifestyle team with … Continued

    From Therapy Dog to Resthaven Volunteer

    Retired scientist, Diana Walter, first came across Resthaven Mitcham in September 2021, when visiting a dear friend and resident on-site. ‘Hannah Coelho [Manager Residential Services] noticed I had brought in my gentle Labrador, Quaid, and asked if we would like to become Resthaven volunteers – the rest is history!’ Diana explains that 12-year-old Quaid ‘came … Continued

    Musical Volunteer finds her ‘decks’ with Resthaven

    Carolyn McHugh has been a proud volunteer at Resthaven Leabrook since 2016, bringing her talent of ‘DJing’ to music-loving residents who enjoy coming together and sharing their love and enjoyment of music. Recently, Carolyn took it upon herself to write a letter to Resthaven, sharing how rewarding it is for her to share what she … Continued

    Four-legged volunteers ‘bark’ joy to residents

    Resthaven Paradise’s own canine volunteer, Shadow, ‘barks’ joy to residents each week, accompanied by his owner, and Resthaven volunteer, Russell Dahms. ‘Shadow is my nine-year-old male Siberian husky, who loves meeting new people during our pet therapy sessions,’ Russell explains. Russell and Shadow ‘We started volunteering with Resthaven Paradise in July [2021]. The staff and … Continued

    ‘Volunteering opened a door for me that had been shut,’ says Elaine

    Elaine Crettenden enjoys her time volunteering with Resthaven Bellevue Heights, and her long association with the organisation stretches back to 1986, when her late husband, Ron, was appointed as a member of the Resthaven Board. ‘Ron and I were married in 1982,’ Elaine explains. ‘Before meeting him, I was a single mother, and worked full-time … Continued

    Janet Hill: 2021 Volunteer of the Year

    Join us in congratulating Resthaven Aberfoyle Park volunteer, Janet Hill, who, on Friday 22 October, was announced as ‘Volunteer of the Year’ at the 2021 Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) awards. Manager Volunteer Services, Stacey Thompson, says, ‘This is a wonderful recognition of Janet’s talents, skills and tremendous support.’ Janet is pictured above with … Continued

    Bookworms Unite at Resthaven Westbourne Park

    In July, Rosie joined the volunteer team at Resthaven Westbourne Park. Rosie’s passions in life, other than family, have always been theatre, reading and writing. With her mother now a resident at Resthaven Westbourne Park, it was these passions that led Rosie to become a volunteer and share her love of books with other bookworms. … Continued

    Volunteer takes on wisdom from century old “Cliffy”

    On 17 May, Mrs Cliffline Cox, known as Cliffy, celebrated her 100th birthday and volunteer Leigh, sat down with her to learn more about her life over a century. Currently, Cliffy is a resident at Resthaven Mount Gambier, but she was once a young girl growing up in the small country town of Dungog, NSW … Continued

    Volunteer, Sarah, makes a special connection


    A French Connection

    ‘We have a French connection at Resthaven’s Ridgway House!’, says Stacey Thompson, Manager Volunteer Services. ‘We are so happy that Sarah Burnett has become a volunteer and joined the group at Ridgway House.’ ‘Ridgway House is an overnight and day respite cottage run by Resthaven Community Respite Services,’ says Lisa Edwards, Ridgway Coordinator. ‘It just … Continued

    Volunteers feel the beat

    At Resthaven Murray Bridge, volunteers share their musical talents and passions to make a real difference to residents through music. Two such people are volunteers Peter Geue and Rose Symonds, who make up the ‘Harmony Duo’. Each fortnight Peter and Rose ensure the halls are alive with the sound of music. ‘Residents love it when … Continued

    Volunteers in top form at the winning post

    National Volunteer Week, from Monday 17th to Sunday 23rd May 2021, is Australia’s opportunity to recognise and celebrate all those who volunteer in Australia. Resthaven recognises and thanks all volunteers for their important contribution. ‘Volunteers engage and connect with people supported by Resthaven in many varied and interesting ways,’ says Stacey Thompson, Manager Volunteer Services. ‘Resthaven Murray Bridge … Continued

    Glenda reflects on 25 year volunteer career

    When 25-year Resthaven volunteer, Glenda McDonald, decided it was time to move into residential aged care, the obvious choice was Resthaven. After all, she says, ‘I feel part of the place.’ A trained nurse, Glenda started her volunteering career with Resthaven later in life, when her children were a little older and she wanted to … Continued

    Alison and Mary stay connected

    Volunteer, Alison, is staying connected with people living at Resthaven Craigmore, replacing her usual in person visits with twice weekly telephone calls instead. Alison, who has volunteered at Resthaven Craigmore for almost four years, made the decision to not attend the home during the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect the health of residents. However, this wasn’t … Continued

    40 Year Volunteer Celebrated

    This week, Resthaven volunteer, Dawn Schaefer, was celebrated for her 40 years of volunteer service with a surprise visit from the Resthaven bus! Dawn, who has supported Resthaven Marion since 1980, and has been staying home for the last couple of months, as recommended, during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this wasn’t going to stop Resthaven … Continued

    ‘Thank you’ to volunteers on National Volunteer Week

    This week (18-25 May) is National Volunteer Week, and Resthaven says ‘thank you’ to volunteers for all that they do. In this, Resthaven’s 85th anniversary year, we reflect on how volunteers have been at the heart of Resthaven since the very beginning. ‘Rest Haven’ was officially opened on 11 May, 1935, when two people volunteered … Continued

    Brightening up the day

    With his loud Hawaiian shirts and sunny disposition, volunteer, Leigh, is known for ‘brightening up’ everyone’s day at Resthaven Mount Gambier. Lifestyle Coordinator, Trudyanne, says, ‘Leigh comes in on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays.’ ‘He facilitates a men’s catch up and coffee, provides individual social visits, and holds a history/men’s club on Fridays, with fellow volunteer, … Continued