Giving Time and Gaining Plenty

By Jerrie Valli | Posted: Tuesday June 14, 2016

Volunteers play a crucial role within Enliven Southland, but as one volunteer says they get just as much out of it as they put in.

Once a week Carl Heenan heads to Peacehaven Village to play boccia with the residents. It’s not a huge time commitment, but the value of that couple of hours a week is immense – for the residents and for Carl.

Carl is one of dozens of valued volunteers working within Enliven Southland.

He approached Presbyterian Support Southland in 2014 to see where he could help and seamlessly slotted into a role helping with boccia each week – despite admitting it was well outside his comfort zone at the time.

“I had the choice to visit people in their homes or to go into a rest home. Going into a rest home was totally different to anything I’d been used to, but I wanted that interaction,” he said.
“I wanted to volunteer my time for the elderly. A lot have families who can’t visit for whatever reason – they live far away or have work commitments. I just thought we're all going to end up in a rest home, so why not get in there and help.”
“It’s great! It keeps the residents active, they really enjoy it and I enjoy giving my time to help others.”

Carl finds huge benefits associated with volunteering – the enjoyment the residents get from his input, the satisfaction of contributing to his community and it adds to his employability.

With National Volunteer Week running from June 19 to 25, Carl is encouraging others to volunteer with Enliven.

“Give Leanne or Lynn a call and come and see them. Or come along and see what volunteers do and where you might be able to fit in,” he said.
“You’ll get a lot out of it.”
“PSS look after their volunteers. We are well supported and there are good opportunities for networking with other volunteers as well.”

Find out more about being an Enliven volunteer