Here we introduce some of the people who make Meals on Wheels an organisation with a big heart. Ranging in age from their teens to a volunteer in her nineties, our Ambassadors are just a few of the names and faces whose stories reflect the true meaning of Meals on Wheels – people in the community wanting to lend a helping hand.
Attracting young volunteers to Meals on Wheels
She may be young, but Cloe is the face of Gen Y who enjoys giving something back to the community. Cloe has volunteered for Boggabri Meals on Wheels since she was 11 years old and her dedication and commitment is matched only by her caring personality.
As well as fitting Meals on Wheels into her busy life, Cloe also finds time to excel in other areas. Last year she represented her pony club at the Royal Easter Show where she was awarded Reserve Champion Rider 2010.
In 2008 Cloe was selected as the Young Citizen of the Year Narrabri Shire. Cloe is now proud to work at Boggabri Meals on Wheels.
Being part of the Meals on Wheels family
Susan echoes the thoughts of so many Meals on Wheels volunteers who value the feeling of being part of an organisation that in many ways can be seen as extended family to every one who plays a part. Serving the community as part of a nationwide family is a unique opportunity.
She says: “It’s the sense of belonging. It’s the personal connection with the caring Meals on Wheels teams in the office and kitchen. I didn’t know how much difference it would make in MY life until I joined this amazing organisation.”
Chef who produces tasty nutritious meals
Ever wondered who creates the meals that nourish clients of Meals on Wheels? Chefs like Tony Lyons. Tony is one of our star chefs who work for Ku-ring-gai Meals on Wheels. His professional training and years of experience in the food industry ensures meals from his kitchen are delicious and nutritious.
Over the last eight years he has been instrumental in raising the bar in relation to the quality, nutritional value, choice and variety of meals available to clients of Meals on Wheels.
His innovative approach injects new ideas to help promote the Ku-ring-gai service.
Inspirational story. Volunteering changes lives.
Norma recently appeared on Channel 7 Sunday News with Mark Ferguson
Norma’s story shows how the mutual support given in the Meals on Wheels community is why people see Meals on Wheels as ‘More than just a Meal’ and recognise the value of purpose and human connection. Norma is an example of someone who discovered helping others, can be a powerful way to help yourself find direction.
“On the sudden death of my husband, I did not handle my loss very well – losing the will to live and to perform my normal activities. I offered my service with Meals on Wheels on doctor’s advice. This was the answer to my problem – to help others in need. It gave me great satisfaction and raised my self esteem helping my recovery.”
Norma has been with the service for 29 years serving as runner, kitchen hand, management committee member, frozen food delivery and various other duties.
Sandra and John Davies
Live: Sunshine Bay, NSW South Coast
Benefits of volunteering as a couple delivering meals together
Partners in life and in the community, Sandra and John demonstrate the significant contribution couples can make working together for Meals on Wheels. Always efficient and always smiling, they are willing to ‘do what it takes’ to get the job done.
They are a great example of people not just filling in time but having a deep concern for others in the community. They are willing to take on anything that will improve the lives of people who wish to live as long as possible in their own homes.
Benefits of volunteering on retirement
“We’re always there for you”
Retirement can mean slowing down for some people or in cases like Therese, seeking new ways to share skills and energy. Therese is a tireless worker, committed and reliable. She began volunteering with Meals on Wheels nine years ago and hasn’t stopped since.
Her reassuring message to clients is, “We’re always there for you”.
Therese says, ”It’s a pleasure to volunteer and to deliver meals to people who are unable to get out of the house. It’s an opportunity to provide companionship as well as a meal. What is really important to me is that when we visit people and provide feedback to staff, changes can be made to help people have a happier, comfortable and more relaxed life.”
Lives: Croydon Park
Making a difference to someone’s life
While running his own printing business, Martin still finds time to volunteer for Meals on Wheels three times a week. He has been volunteering for two years and his happy demeanour and kindness are rewarded with smiles from his clients.
Martin says he volunteers for the pleasure of it and the beautiful people he meets along the way. “It’s the essence of it,” he says. He tells how he met a lady recently who is 94 and still playing the piano.
“Sometimes at Christmas you are given a handwritten card saying thank you and this touches me. You make a difference to someone’s life and they make a difference to mine.”