Female Volunteers the 'backbone' of community service

Seniors Newspaper Online edition 01/03/2018

WHERE would STAR Community Services - an organisation that supports the elderly and those with disability - without it's female volunteers?

"Volunteers are the backbone of our organisation," STAR Community Services General Manager Patsy Wilshire said.

"(And) women volunteers and staff are at the forefront of our organisation. They help enrich the lives of our clients by delivering services to them through a variety of roles including vehicle drivers, call centre operators, office administrators and care companions."

And that's why the organisation is hailing the outstanding contribution of their female volunteers on International Women's Day on March 8.

Volunteers like Ellen Solomon.

A retiree from Brisbane, Ellen volunteers her time as a STAR driver, helping seniors to medical appointments, visit family or a simple trip to the shops.

Ellen said the role had helped her discover more about her community and herself.

"I have always had an office job," Ellen said. "After retiring I wanted to do something different.

"Driving the seniors helps me as much as it helps them. It gets me out of my comfort zone. I've learnt so much more about Redlands. I love listening to their stories."

But now it's Ellen's, and her more than 60 STAR female volunteers, time to hog the spotlight.

"Our volunteers come from all walks of life. They are university students, mothers and even grandmothers," Ms Wilshire said.

"I think it is incredible that despite all the family, work and social commitments they still find time and energy to volunteer and make a difference to the lives of vulnerable members of our community.

"Hats off to them and a big thank you for their hard work."

For more information on volunteering opportunities with STAR call 3821 6699 or visit www.starcommunityservices.org.au

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