6 September 2022

The joy of giving back to your community

At Presbyterian Support Otago we have over 500 volunteers across our Enliven care homes and community programmes, Family Works, foodbank and retail shops. Without our amazing team of volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do!

Meet Robyn Bannerman – one of our wonderful volunteers at Club Enliven, Alexandra

How long have you been volunteering at Club Enliven?

I’ve been volunteering at Club Enliven for more than a decade. In that time there has been four coordinators Kay, Lyn, Karla and Diane. It is a lot of fun and well organised.

How did you get involved in volunteering?

I became involved after getting a call from Linda Leckie who worked for Senior Citizens. As we had recently sold our business, I had time to spare. At this time she also recruited Lyn Grey who is also still a volunteer.

What do you do in your role at Club Enliven?

The coordinator always has a program for the day with which we assist. We make many cups of tea, set up for lunch, chat, play games, make crafts and laugh a lot!

What do you enjoy about volunteering?

After having retail businesses in Alexandra for 20 years I find giving back to the community that supported us rewarding. Most of all I enjoy the laughter and chatter. Hearing the participants’ memories is very special.

Tell us a little about yourself and what you like to do when you’re not volunteering?

Now that I am retired, I love family time. I have been married to Peter for many years, have two daughters and six wonderful grandchildren aged 8 to 21. Pottering in our large garden consumes a lot of my time but I really enjoy going on long walks and riding our many trails on my e-bike. Living in Central Otago, I’m never bored!

Want to be happier? Try volunteering!

Research suggests that volunteers aren’t just helping the communities they serve. People who volunteer actually experience a boost to their mental health — good news at a time when many New Zealanders report feeling symptoms of anxiety or depression.

No matter what your skills, we are bound to have a role to fit. Whether you only have a few hours to give, or can assist on a more regular basis, there’s something you can do to lend a hand in your community.

For more information about volunteering visit our website www.psotago.org.nz/volunteer, or call Jasmin on 03 477 7115 for more information.

What is Club Enliven?

Club Enliven is a day programme offering activity and companionship for older people living in their own homes or with family. Run in Dunedin, Alexandra and Mosgiel, the environment is safe, friendly, relaxed and well set up for those with mobility or medical needs. For more information on Club Enliven visit www.psotago.org.nz/club-enliven

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