Talk to any of the Independent Living residents at Maranatha Village in Kallangur, Queensland about their volunteering and they will quickly list off half a dozen other people who they think contribute more than themselves.
It’s this spirit of volunteering and caring for those living in the co-located aged care Home which most people notice immediately, that gives Maranatha that special vibe that just about everyone notices after spending only a short amount of time there.
Lyn and Jeff Hermann are one such couple who are always over in the Home chatting with residents and helping out with activities.
They have been living at Maranatha Village for five years, and it had been their plan to move there before they were even married.
“We were fundraising for Maranatha in the ‘70s, and we’ve been life members from the beginning,” Jeff said.
“When we got married, Lyn said when we retire we’re coming to Maranatha, so that when we’re still young we can volunteer and help out.”
The pair are Pastoral Carers, and also help out with activities such as the Maranatha Fair and regular church services.
“You’ve got to put yourself in the position of the residents. Anything you can do to make their day a little better helps, especially the ones whose kids don’t see them very much for whatever reason, and there are lots of reasons,” Lyn said.
Maranatha has around 100 volunteers who regularly visit the Home – the most of any of Christadelphian Aged Care site – and a significant number of these are Independent Living residents.
The number of residents in the Village is set to grow with the completion of new and renovated one and two bedroom units.
Jeff said they had tried to encourage people to move into the Village who were young enough to help volunteer at the Home and the church.
“There’s heaps of different types of volunteering you can do. You can pop in and talk to someone for 10 minutes and have a chat and that brightens their day,” he said.
And it’s not only a one-way street, Lyn said, as everyone who volunteered received an enormous amount of benefit back from spending time with the aged care residents who had lived incredible lives.
“You don’t have to do much, and they can teach you some wonderful philosophies and wisdom.”