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When Barbara retired, she wanted to give back to an industry that took wonderful care of her dear father. After migrating from the United Kingdom in 1984, Barbara would make the yearly trip back home to visit her dad, who was being cared for in an aged care home.
This is where Barbara’s passion for volunteering began. She volunteers three days a week at Brightwater Kingsley, saying her job as a volunteer is to make people happy. She assists with the Music Pharmacy program, which provides residential aged care and Brightwater At Home clients, their families and staff with music activities that enhance their quality of life.
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“Seeing clients get up and dance is truly brilliant. Plus, I have no fear of being a clown and interacting with the residents. I will do anything to make them smile, including singing off key!” Barbara said.
Barbara remarked that the staff who looked after her dad back home in Liverpool were amazing. “When I saw the advertisement to volunteer with Brightwater, I went for it and never looked back,” she said.
“Barbara needs very little or no direction and uses her own initiative. She takes residents for outdoor walks, provides fantastic emotional support and always engages in conversation with many clients. She is always reliable and we think she is awesome. She is a bit of a comedian at times which our residents love,” said Wally, Therapy Assistant and Site Volunteer Key Person at Brightwater Kingsley.
As a self-confessed, fun, passionate and caring individual, Barbara believes laughter is the best medicine – making the Music Pharmacy the perfect program for her to be a part of.
“With each visit, Barbara makes a world of difference to the wellbeing of the clients, as she engages each and all with her laughter, sense of fun, and infectious love of life”, says Wendy, Coordinator, Volunteer Services.