The wonderful volunteers who give so much of their time and energy to the residents of Ron Smith Care Centre.
Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre is fortunate to have a group of dedicated volunteers who offer the gift of their time, talents and skills to touch and enrich the lives of our Elders and to add to their health and well-being.
To thank them for their services and to show them how much they are valued and appreciated, management hosted a wonderful pizza party under the willow trees by the lake on November 30.
Fortunately it was a beautiful, sunny day. The theme of the event was to honour the care centre’s ‘volunteer angels’, so the décor included colourful paper angels made by some of the residents in the OT Activity Centre, which were hung from the trees.
In addition, Zabeth Zühlsdorff from Rand Aid’s head office and Helen Petrie, complex manager, presented each volunteer with a hand-made candle that was decorated with a beaded angel. The attached personalised card conveyed ‘thanks for brightening up our world, touching lives and making a difference at RSCC’.
Debbie Christen, Manager: Recreational Programmes, thanked the volunteers for building relationships; for taking the time to try and connect with the residents and for simply caring and listening. In the day-to-day care of older people, it is often easy to focus on giving them physical care and to neglect their psycho-social, emotional and spiritual care.
In the midst of a busy day when there are staff shortages and older people with high level care needs, it is often the physical/medical needs that receive priority. But since embarking on an Eden Alternative journey, the care centre is committed to providing its residents with a more holistic and person-centred care, in which residents’ physical, social, creative, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs are recognised and addressed.
And this is where the volunteers really make a difference and fill in the gaps.
Debbie thanked them for coming along with their smiles, their hugs, their humour, their many acts of kindness and compassion and for taking the time to try and connect, care and listen. With these gifts, it is possible to change somebody’s world in an instant!
A volunteer may end up being the world to one person and may never know the profound effect that they may have had on a person’s life. A kind word, a gentle touch, a caring heart or a listening ear can mean so much to someone who is bored, lonely, sick, or living with dementia.
Debbie reminded them that, “no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” and concluded with the saying that, “volunteers are not paid because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!”
The appreciation event was a huge success and served to unite the volunteer corps with a common purpose. All of the volunteers expressed their delight, gratitude and appreciation for being recognised in such a special way.
Complex manager Helen Petrie with Lee Ann Ramathibela and Salina Mtshali.