This week NVC Group celebrated National Volunteer Week with special lunches at Riverside Gardens, in Nambucca Heads, and Autumn Lodge, in Macksville.
NVC Group Riverside Gardens Service Manager Kylie Kuwert said volunteer week has always been on the top of her organisation’s celebration list as the not-for-profit company was started by volunteers way back in 1974.
“NVC Group was created by a group of dedicated, local volunteers who saw a need for a home for elderly people in the Nambucca Valley nearly fifty years ago,” she said.
“Prior to this, if people needed aged care services, they had to leave the area and their friends and loved ones.
“I want to thank all of the wonderful volunteers who work at NVC Group’s aged care homes today: Riverside Gardens, Autumn Lodge and Cedar Place. You all do so much wonderful work, with humility and grace.”
Neryl Graham is one of the volunteers at Riverside Gardens. She has been a regular visitor to the site since 2015, when her mum and dad moved into a retirement village unit, before eventually moving into the aged care home itself.
“Over the last seven years I have witnessed the great job done by many volunteers to improve the quality of life for the residents at Riverside Gardens,” she said.
“So in 2022, after I retired, I put up my hand to join in and volunteer. My favourite activity with the residents is to take them out for walks, so they can enjoy the beautiful Nambucca River and its surrounds – something a lot of us just take for granted, but it means so much to them.”
At NVC Group, volunteers today form a close bond with the Recreational Activity Officers, as they lead the delivery of activities for residents in the aged care homes.
“Autumn Lodge would really benefit from some more volunteers to assist with individual visits, games, foot spas, nail file and painting,” said Sonia Watts, one of the dedicated Recreational Activities Officers.
Riverside Gardens Recreational Activities Officer Kerrie Cue said: “We have amazing volunteers, but we could always do with more helpers, especially a few more men.
“Volunteer Week is a chance to celebrate all the wonderful work they do, unrecognised and humbly. Volunteering is not only good for our residents, but I think volunteers get a lot out of it too.”
Volunteer Sandra Morrissey said she enjoys delivering arts and crafts at Riverside Gardens.
“You can do so many different things to help – there’s day excursions, taking someone out for a coffee at the café nearby, playing bowls or putt putt,” she said.
“You can always try volunteering in one area, and if you don’t like it, there’s always something else you could try instead.”