Changing lives for the better

Posted on Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Have you ever wanted to volunteer but you’re not sure how? Maybe you think you don’t have the right skills or enough free time?

Brightwater’s Volunteer Coordinator Sharon Knott can put your mind at ease. Sharon looks after nearly two hundred volunteers in our Brightwater Buddies program, which is run across 22 sites from Joondalup to Mandurah.

“We appreciate every single person that gives their time to contribute to the social, cultural and spiritual wellbeing of our clients. You can spend just an hour a week to come in and have a chat with someone, ask questions about their lives,” Sharon explains.

Joondalup’s Adele Grobbelaar knows first-hand how easy and how rewarding it is to volunteer with Brightwater.

Adele has been with us since October 2021, beginning as a BEX Concierge Volunteer at Brightwater’s Oxford Gardens Aged Care Home.

“After active involvement in charities over recent years and a total knee replacement, last year I decided I needed a change and wanted to go back to what I love most and that is working with senior citizens, our most vulnerable and often forgotten citizens,” she said.

Adele’s parents were Lions Club members and she has always been a volunteer in some way. And these days she has more hours to give to her volunteering.

“I love getting to know the residents. I love chatting to them, listening to their stories - so many beautiful people with a lifetime of experiences. Everybody has a life story to tell; everyone contributed and helped shape this country to what it is today.”

As for the process to become a volunteer, Adele says she felt supported by Brightwater at every stage.

“Any questions, I could just pick up the phone and there was always somebody on the other line that I could ask for help and everything went really smoothly.”

Sharon Knott welcomes volunteers of any age or any degree of experience to put their name forward for the Brightwater Buddies program.

“Our oldest volunteer is 89 and she's never volunteered at all and it has changed her life. Another volunteer was feeling isolated after losing her husband, and now volunteering has given her the confidence to make new friends and to try something new each day.”

If you are considering becoming a volunteer, both Adele and Sharon say you will get as much from it as you give.