• Volunteer Stories

    Why Resthaven volunteer pianist chooses aged care

    Volunteer pianist, Tony Kelly, enjoys spending his time hitting the keys at Resthaven Malvern, having discovered the joys of aged care approximately 25 years ago. Tony says, ‘I retired in 1997, but it wasn’t until a few years later that I ventured into volunteering in aged care, and I never looked back.’ ‘I was a … Continued

    ‘Let’s connect’ — Bring joy as a Resthaven volunteer

    ‘Volunteers have been at the heart of Resthaven since the beginning, in 1935,’ says Resthaven Manager Volunteer Services, Stacey Thompson. ‘Resthaven volunteers provide that extra level of support for residents and clients, which is immeasurable.’ ‘We would like to hear from people across South Australia, people who have a desire to share a meaningful connection … Continued

    ‘Aged care is rewarding,’ says 10-year volunteer, Jenny Dow

    This year, Jenny Dow celebrated her tenth anniversary as a volunteer with Resthaven Mount Gambier; however, her volunteering years go way back. Jenny says, ‘My first experience was at my youngest daughter’s school 24 years ago. I had extra time and wanted to give back.’ Since then, Jenny has taken on more in her local … Continued

    Peter brings joy — a decade as a volunteer

    Peter Ellemor is a household name at Resthaven Mitcham, having devoted his time as a volunteer in this aged care home for more than a decade. Peter explains, ‘I worked for the Department for Education for 37 years—the last 22 years as Principal—and it was always in my heart to give something back to the … Continued

    Celebrating volunteers

    Volunteers have been at the heart of Resthaven from the beginning, in 1935. Resthaven relies on volunteers who offer an extra level of support for residents and clients. National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering and will be held on 15 – 21 May 2023. This year throughout the month of May, … Continued

    Volunteer’s colourful mission

    Resthaven Craigmore is fortunate to have a creative volunteer, Julie Sieben, who is on a mission to spread colour and creativity with residents. However, this isn’t what led Julie to begin volunteering at Resthaven four years ago. Julie explains, ‘It was time to start looking at aged care for mum and dad, but I didn’t … Continued

    Volunteer loves dancing at Resthaven

    Marian dances her way into the hearts of Resthaven

    On Valentine’s Day, we celebrate love in all its forms. At Resthaven, volunteers do what they love, not only by sharing a passion of theirs such as music or reading, but by forming meaningful connections with the older people they support. Resthaven Murray Bridge volunteer, Marian Allam, told us about the connection she shared with … Continued

    Once an entertainer, always an entertainer

    Resident entertainer, Mrs Gillian ‘Gill’ Churchill, has taken the musical reins at Resthaven Marion—ukulele in hand! Mrs Churchill has performed throughout New South Wales with her ukulele group, entertaining older people living in care. She has also sung with a barbershop chorus and is a keen poet—a person of many talents! She explains, ‘Now, I … Continued

    Decking the halls across Resthaven: Christmas craft

    In preparation for the festive season, residents, staff and volunteers have been working together to create decorations for their celebrations at many Resthaven sites. On Tuesday 15 November, Resthaven Marion welcomed a special visit from Westminster School, reigniting their long-standing relationship between the generations. Lifestyle Coordinator, Tamara Jacquier, says, ‘A lovely girl, and class captain, … Continued

    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