A day in the life of a volunteer

Brian is a volunteer at Chamberlain Gardens in Wyoming.

Hi, I’m Brian and I have worked most of my life in admin and accounting roles in big companies in Sydney. I am a carer for my mother and I volunteer at Chamberlain Gardens in Wyoming three morning a week. I’ll try and give you an idea what I achieve and get out of my three mornings.

Day 1 – Monday Morning

I try to arrive before 8am to get ready for residents’ breakfasts in our Garden area. I normally say my morning hello to Garden residents and feed one of the male residents who is 99 years of age and is partially blind and deaf.

After breakfast, I take one of the ladies up to our hairdresser to have her hair washed. She just loves going up to Myee, our hairdresser, as she always has her little dog Sally there. I just love to see the smile on her face when she sees Sally.

After the hairdresser, I normally help our residents who are going on an outing on to the bus.

This morning, I assisted with a trip to Patonga. We normally return at around 11:30am and then it’s time to get residents ready for lunch. I normally feed the same gentleman again and by the time he’s finished it’s time for goodbyes and home.

Day 2 – Wednesday Morning

Wednesday morning starts off as normal with feeding in our Garden area and after this is completed, I go up to our Horizon area and conduct one-on-ones with residents up there. I have known a lot of these people for quite a while (I have been volunteering at Chamberlain Gardens for more than two years). These people to me are friends that I try and see at least on a weekly basis. By around 10am, I’ll try and see which Recreation Officer needs a hand and help them out with the activities. Lunch time comes quickly and I head down to Garden and help feed again. I then say my goodbyes and leave for home.

Day 3 – Thursday Morning

Thursday morning starts off as normal with resident breakfast in our Garden area. It’s always great to see the smiles I get on residents’ faces when I say hello of a morning.

After breakfast, it’s time to arrange for some of our Garden residents to have their biweekly bus trip. I speak to our recreation officer/team leader/RN to see who is going out on the bus. I help load the bus and get them in seat belts. In recent weeks, our Garden residents have gone to places like Patonga, Shelly Beach and McMasters Beach. For those who don’t go out on the bus, we try and arrange for a special activity. We try to share out the bus trips with the other volunteers, as it’s always fun to be on the road with our residents – they love it. After the bus returns it time to get them organised for lunch again.

My week can and will always change due to the needs of the residents at Chamberlain Gardens at any time. Be it helping out with Bingo, a reminiscing session, one on ones, helping out in the hairdressers or out on the bus with residents I always find that I’m having a good time helping out.

If you are interested in volunteering at any of our Homes please contact our Pastoral Care and Community Services Manager, Stuart Muir, on 0425 293 792 or smuir@chomes.com.au.