It’s the smiles that have kept Mell Smith volunteering.
“One of the best things about coming into work is the big smiles I get from the elderly residents. It just makes me feel like I’m doing a wonderful thing. I have a purpose and that is to make them feel wanted and not alone,” Mell explains.
“Not only do I keep them company but I'm providing them with an opportunity to be independent even though they are in an aged care home. Letting them have that choice on what they want to do.”
For the past year, Mel has been a volunteer at Anglicare’s Lemongrove Gardens, helping with whatever she can – setting up different activities for residents, talking to them, helping during special occasions like Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Easter.
“I try to think to different activities to change up the routine. I also do a lot with residents who have dementia, chatting with them and sharing activities,” explains Mell.
Volunteering in aged care was something Mell wanted to do after her grandmother passed away.
“I have a passion for helping people. My Nan also passed away recently and I was very close to her. Volunteering at Lemon Grove Gardens drew me in straight away as I just love being around the elderly and making them feel loved.”
It seems caring has always been of interest to Mell. In the past, she worked in childcare. It was something she’s been doing since she was 16 years old. Now she spends her time caring for the elderly and says she has found where she belongs.
A good day of volunteering for Anglicare is a busy one according to Mell.
“I love busy days making sure our residents are happy. That’s when I feel I’ve accomplished a lot and know I have given my all.”
Mell says she likes volunteering for Anglicare because of the excellent care provided by the not-for-profit organisation.
“They are just a great organization to volunteer for. Lemongrove Gardens feels like home and I am so appreciated for all the hard work I do.”
Anglicare will be celebrating volunteers like Mell at a special morning tea at the Penrith RSL Club, on Wednesday, 22 May, 10am to 12pm.