Every other Sunday, you’ll find Ashwin Sakar at the piano playing old and familiar tunes at Anglicare’s Farrer Brown Court.
“Residents will come to listen before or after they eat their lunch. Sometimes I’ll sit down and chat with them to give them some company,” says Ashwin.
Spending time with the elderly is something Ashwin has never done before he started volunteering four years ago. But now, it is something that has given him meaning and purpose.
Ashwin was in high school when he decided he wasn’t happy with his level of engagement with the community.
“I wanted to be more involved with the world around me instead of sitting down comfortably in my own bubble. I wasn’t happy with who I was as a person, and I wanted to give myself a reason to believe that I could do something better with my time, while developing as a person,” he explains.
“A big part is remembering as people age, they’re not as able when they were younger. You must take on a more compassionate and caring role. I appreciate the experience because it genuinely helps me become more gentle and sensitive outside my role as volunteer.”
A good day volunteering is when Ashwin leaves Farrer Brown Court with more people smiling than when he came in at the start of the day. For him, the entire point of volunteering is to help increase people’s quality of life.
“No matter how small a role I play, I want to help make the lives of the residents at Anglicare better,” says Ashwin.
“If I can leave them happier than before I arrived, then I’ve done my job and I’m satisfied.”
Anglicare celebrated volunteers like Ashwin at a special morning tea at Castle Hill RSL Club, on Tuesday, May 21.