Maddies Café becomes community hub for residents, staff and neighbours

Posted on Thursday, September 2, 2021

Brightwater celebrated the re-opening of the newly revamped Maddies Café at its residential aged care home, Brightwater Madeley.

Since 2005, Maddies Café was a vibrant community hub at Brightwater Madeley, but was forced to close due to COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions last year. The café was dearly missed by residents, families, staff and neighbours, and in 2021, Brightwater made it their mission to reopen the café and welcome back the local community. 

Brightwater Chief Executive Officer, Jennifer Lawrence, marked the official opening of the café, cutting the ribbon over the threshold with the Maddies Café volunteers.

“It is really wonderful to see Maddies Café full of life once again,” she said.

“Maddies Café is a warm and welcoming place for residents, families and friends to catch up over a coffee and cake, away from their rooms in a social environment.”

Maddies Café relies on the commitment of the amazing volunteers, known as our Brightwater Buddies, who donate their time to work at the café, serving up delicious coffee and tasty meals to residents, staff and the local community.

“This café could not be possible without the help of our Brightwater Buddies, who bring joy to the lives of the residents and people who visit Brightwater Madeley. What they are doing here is very special and is appreciated by everyone.”

Maddies Café Coordinator Linley Wakefield and local resident of Brightwater’s retirement village, Kingsway Court, volunteers her time to manage the café.

“I've always been passionate about Maddies Café, it’s great for the people that live here,” said Linley.  

“I've worked here for eight years and find it unbelievably rewarding. I feel sorry for people who don't volunteer! You get so much back, miles more than you put in. I've done volunteer work since I retired in one form or another and I wouldn't have it any other way.”

Brightwater Buddy, Graeme Mclennan, has volunteered at Maddies Café with his wife since its opening in 2005. Graeme said he loves seeing the residents enjoy their visit for a coffee.

“It is particularly pleasing to see how they enjoy going somewhere other than their rooms and families are able to bring the residents down without the risks of transport to an outside venue. That’s the most gratifying thing for me.”

“It’s also a lot of fun getting together; we laugh and crack jokes a lot of the time. When we know there's a birthday we'll jump on the piano and sing a chorus of happy birthday and that sort of thing.”

“We get to know the people from Kingsway Court and Madeley, and that's been really pleasing, you really feel you’re doing something good.”

Maddies Café is open Monday to Friday from 9am – 1pm, but with the support of more Brightwater Buddies, the café has the potential to extend its hours.

All proceeds made by Maddies Café go back into Brightwater Madeley, to fund things throughout the home for residents to enjoy. 

About the Brightwater Buddy Volunteer Program

Brightwater Care Group has relaunched its volunteer program as the Brightwater Buddy Volunteer Program, providing more opportunities to connect residents and clients in the community with more volunteers.

Brightwater is currently recruiting for more Brightwater Buddies at our residential aged care and disability care homes, including Maddies Café at Brightwater Madeley.

If you would like to become a Brightwater Buddy, there a many different ways to get involved including volunteering with our residents face-to-face, volunteering virtually through letter writing, or nominate someone to be connected. 

Find out more by visiting our website here. Or you can call our Volunteer Services team on 08 9202 2817.