In light of National Volunteer Week (18-24 June), we’d like to celebrate and recognise the incredible contribution that our volunteers make to Enliven. We really value the time of efforts of our wonderful volunteers and know their support is essential to us.
It’s volunteers like Kathy McMeikan always volunteering for one thing or another, who really make a big difference.
Kathy McMeikan was keen to help out in her local community, so the 75-year-old retired school teacher volunteered for the Enliven Day Programme when it opened in her neighbourhood. With all of her grandchildren in Australia, Kathy has time to play the ukulele and lead sing alongs once a week as part of the four-day-a-week programme of all-day activities for dementia participants. “Music is amazing. It stimulates people’s memories and they can sing old songs with no trouble,” she says, recalling how one 93-year-old woman could sing all the lyrics to Pokarekare Ana which she had learnt as a child. Community sing alongs aren’t new to Kathy whose father led sing-alongs when she was a child, and Kathy herself has also led them at her mother’s rest home. “I’m not a professional. You don’t need to be. Empathy and rapport with people are all you | need, and a small skill or hobby you can share.” Kathy also plays games, leads physical exercises with programme participants and serves them meals.
“I enjoy working here. It’s a warm, relaxed environment, the staff are supportive an they know there are some days when I might not be able to make it.” Enliven Day Programme Team Leader Eva Tollemache says volunteers help to make the programmes run smoothly and spend great one-on-one time with people.
“They are definitely a valued part of our team.”
Thank you to ALL our volunteers for making time!