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 know a thing about it. It was important for me to find the right place for them, and I was keen to take on volunteering during my retirement, so I thought I’d try Resthaven Craigmore.’
‘It was scary at first, as this was something completely new to me. Although, by the time a room became available, I felt comfortable that this would be a suitable fit for my parents.’
‘Now that dad has passed, and mum is on her own, I feel she has some comfort from my frequent presence.’
Through her volunteering at Resthaven, Julie (pictured right) has discovered much more than a home for her parents.
‘It has been a joy to grow strong connections with residents, and they have inspired me to “let go” with my creativity.’
Since the early days of supporting with morning teas, Julie has gone on to facilitate a weekly knitting group, calls the bingo once a week, and leads an art and craft session once a month.
‘Residents enjoy sharing in the creative process, and are responsive to their artwork being displayed on the walls. I can see the difference this makes, and it has inspired my mission to bring more colour and creativity to their environment.’
‘It brings me a great deal of pleasure to see residents participating in, and enjoying the activities, and I love to see their efforts showcased on the pinboard in the hall.’
As Julie’s colourful mission grows in popularity, she shares, ‘I would very much like to see a more permanent gallery space, where we can both display residents’ work, and bring in creative, sensory elements for them to enjoy.’
There are many ways for volunteers to connect with older people. If you are interested in supporting the team at Resthaven Craigmore with bocce, bingo, or special events, we would like to hear from you!
Alternatively, you can visit our Volunteer with us page.