Sun, Apr 14, 2024 4:00 PM

Volunteers’ caring support celebrated


Paula Hulburt

Many have experienced their own journey with Alzheimers and dementia, caring for a loved one or supporting those facing a diagnosis.

At Alzheimers Marlborough this remarkable team of volunteers dedicate their time, care and compassion helping those affected.

It is this enduring empathy and kindness which has recently earned them a special group award for Volunteer of the Month from Volunteer Marlborough.

Alzheimers Marlborough in Blenheim helps enhance the quality of life for individuals living with Alzheimers and dementia.

It is a vital support service, says volunteer Maureen Powell.

“After my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimers, it would have been a very stressful time without the facility here.

"It's such a great resource, and a support system for clients and family."

At Alzheimers Marlborough, volunteers like Maureen embody the organisation's mission to improve lives.

Whether providing companionship, assisting with daily tasks, driving the van to transport clients, or offering emotional support, their impact is profound and far-reaching.

There are smiles and laughter, music and the soft hum of conversations as people gather at the Wither Road club.

At different stages in their individual journeys, clients are treated with kindness and respect, their hopes, dreams and worries recognised.   The centre, its staff and volunteers make a meaningful difference every day.

"All the clients have so much to give and are always so appreciative of the time we spend here," says volunteer Jeanette Vervaart.

"My husband was one of the drivers here for more than 20 years and somehow I became the Treasurer. Now I come along when I'm needed and do whatever is asked of me."

In addition to their hands-on care, the volunteers at Alzheimers Marlborough are passionate advocates for education and awareness surrounding the disease.

Through their own and shared experiences, they strive to empower individuals with knowledge and resources to navigate the challenges of memory loss.

The volunteers' collaborative spirit and tireless efforts exemplify the power of unity in effecting positive change.

Together, they form a network of support and solidarity, dedicated to making a meaningful difference in the lives of those they serve.

Bridget George says that whether it's the everyday activities like the Wither Road Club, the one-off events like the fundraising book sale, or going out with the van driver to collect clients to come to the centre, they all chip-in.

"It was something I started volunteering my time for after my husband passed from Alzheimers.

“I got so much support and now it's my turn to give back," she says.

Their impact extends far beyond words, leaving a legacy of kindness and support in the fight against Alzheimers.

Keen to give volunteering a go? Curious about where you can share your existing skills and experience, or build new ones? Get in touch with our team at Volunteer Marlborough on 03-577-9388, email, or visit our website.

Thank you to New World Blenheim for sponsoring the Volunteer of the Month Award.

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