Volunteers Newsletter - July 2008 - The Spastic Centre


Volunteers Newsletter - July 2008 - The Spastic Centre

2 LEND A HELPING HAND NEWSA MESSAGE FROM THE CEOVolunteer Australia’s theme for this year’s National VolunteerWeek (May 12-16) was “Volunteers Change Our World” andI couldn’t agree more. Each day I am privileged to witnessthe work of volunteers and see the remarkable difference theymake to our world at The Spastic Centre and beyond. From ourdentists to our board members, fundraisers to chess players,all our volunteers make a significant difference to the lives ofpeople with cerebral palsy. We are extremely fortunate to havesuch a committed group of individuals dedicated to changingour world! Volunteers are absolutely essential not only to TheSpastic Centre but to the fabric of Australian society and theworld we live in. Congratulations and thank you!For more on how The Spastic Centre celebrated NationalVolunteer Week, please see page 4.Rob WhiteCEOFROM THE VOLUNTEER TEAMWell, a few things have certainly happened since you receivedyour last newsletter. The most significant of these would haveto be the devastating fire at Head Office (see opposite page)and our (temporary) relocation to Terrey Hills (Dick Smith’sold Australian Geographic Headquarters). After a traumaticcouple of months, we are delighted with our new premises inthe bush - literally! There have been several snake sightingsand daily visits from rabbits, frogs, cockatoos, parrots, ploversand spiders – to name a few.If you are in the neighbourhood, we would love you to drop inand see us – we will give you the tour!Speaking of the fire, as you are aware we lost all our volunteerfiles. It would be a great help if you could assist us by completingand returning copies of the forms that were recently sent to you.If you need another copy or have any questions, please contactthe Volunteer team on 9479 7264.Those volunteers who are yet to attend a Volunteer Orientationare invited to join us at Terrey Hills on Wednesday July 2ndfrom 6.00pm - 8.00pm. It is always a great night where youcan meet other volunteers, learn more about The Spastic Centreand dine out on some delicious pizza. If you are interested inattending, please contact the Volunteer Team on 9479 7264.Warm regardsAmanda, Angela, Carole and JackieFront cover: Verdit Lahav, volunteer in the Conductive Education Program.As part of National Volunteer Week, staff and volunteers celebrate the Volunteer Reward andRecognition Evening at Head Office, Terrey Hills.

4 LEND A HELPING HAND NEWSNational Volunteer WeekMay 12th - 16th1The Spastic Centrecelebrated NationalVolunteer Week witha range of activities atsites located across thestate.The week commenced with the launch ofthe 2008 Volunteer of the Year Awardsat Government House by The Hon. LindaBurney, Minister for Youth, Fair Tradingand Volunteering.The Spastic Centre’s corporate volunteerswere also out in force to lend their support.GPT, Lend Lease, Bovis Lend Lease andCharlestown Square joined forces to givethe Wallsend House a make-over. All thematerials were generously donated andmore than 60 volunteers pitched in topaint, pave, concrete and garden – anamazing effort by all.The Walt Disney Company provided 35energetic and enthusiastic volunteers torenovate the new Sportfitz Gym at McLeodHouse. In addition to giving the walls amuch-needed injection of colour, the teamalso created some fabulous canvasses thatwill be displayed throughout The SpasticCentre. They also generously donatedentertainment equipment including aplasma TV, books and toys, playstationand games.Comings and GoingsAt the end of this month, Angela Dives, our Volunteer Coordinator based in the Hunterregion, is going on maternity leave. We wish Angela, her hubby Glenn and sonNathan all the very best! We will miss Angela and look forward to seeing her back atthe helm later in the year.In the meantime, we would like to welcome Toni Roberts from The Stuart Centre to theVolunteer Team. Toni will be assisting with the volunteering operations in the Hunter,while Angela is on maternity leave. Thanks Toni and we look forward to working withyou.Angela Dives

5Minutes withMARK HOMEMINGWhat is your connection with The Spastic Centre?I first became involved with The Spastic Centre in 2006 as a graduate working atMacquarie Bank. I was working with the Graduate Volunteering Network, when wewere introduced to The Spastic Centre through the Macquarie Group Foundation.Since then we have been involved in number of projects. These included renovationsof the North Curl Curl residence, assisting clients to participate in the City to Surf raceand hosting the Children’s Christmas party.What do you enjoy most about your role with The Spastic Centre?Working with The Spastic Centre has been an amazing experience. The smiles, thegratitude, the friendships, and the knowledge that I’ve made somebody’s life a littleeasier through my contribution is what I’ve enjoyed most. Inspiring others to participatein volunteering has been very rewarding. Through our successes we’ve proven it’s notdifficult to make a real difference.LEND A HELPING HAND NEWS5Favourite volunteering story/moment ?My favourite moment would have to be when we finished painting the interior of theNorth Curl Curl house. The residents returned to their revamped house and were verysurprised. Their eagerness to investigate the other rooms in the house to inspect ourhandiwork coupled with their positive feedback really lifted the spirits of all of thevolunteers. To top it all off, two of the residents had prepared speeches for us thankingus for our work!Mark has inspired others to volunteerFavourite saying?“All things are difficult before they are easy.”VARDIT LAHAVWhat is your connection with The Spastic Centre?My main role is helping Gabriel Pinter in his Conductive Education classes. I really loveworking with all the children. I work as a professional make up artist, so there havebeen many opportunities where I’ve been able to use my skills to have loads of fun withall the kids. I feel really committed to help put a smile on the children’s faces and makethem realise they are gifted for being themselves.What do you enjoy most about your role with The Spastic Centre?Working with the children in Conductive Education and helping them to achieve theirbest has been a very satisfying experience.Favourite volunteering story/moment ?There have been so many great moments! It’s difficult to single out just one, althoughdoing the make up for the girls for a fashion parade was definitely a highlight. Seeinghow much they enjoyed themselves was fantastic. It was also lovely to hear the children’sreaction at the end of last year when I told them I was returning to the program.Vardit with Kaitlyn believes volunteering brings perspective to lifeFavourite saying?Volunteering brings perspective to life. It allows you to appreciate the value of life, behappy and understand that each person is unique.

6 LEND A HELPING HAND NEWSMany Lending HandsAquability is a program designed byThe Spastic Centre to teach waterawareness and water skills to peoplewith a disability.It also helps children to reach their developmental milestones byreinforcing land-based skills such as sitting and standing.There are a range of programs available and each group is run bytwo specialist aquatic physiotherapists. Thanks to the wonderfulsupport of our volunteer team, clients are able to receive theessential one-on-one support they require to participate in theprogram.Water is a very supportive environment to exercise in, and formany clients it provides a rare opportunity to experience a senseof freedom and independence. Working in water also challengesbalance and allows a range of movement often unattainable onland.The programs are not just about exercise. There’s also plentyof fun with clients, parents and carers enjoying the opportunityto socialise with other people who are experiencing similarchallenges.If you would like to be a volunteer in our Aquability programplease phone Carole Price on 9479 7288.Nowra volunteersOn Tuesday 8th April, The Spastic Centre’sNowra Team held their annual Equipment Expo.Five eager young volunteers from local schoolsspent a busy day ensuring exhibitors, visitorsand staff were provided with information,assistance and refreshments.Many people attending the event (includingfamilies, carers, education staff and otherservice providers) complimented the volunteerson their enthusiastic assistance. The volunteersthoroughly enjoyed the day, gaining insightinto the world of disability.

Corporate CapersLEND A HELPING HAND NEWS7Commonwealth BankOnce again The Spastic Centre received financial support, notto mention some much needed muscle power from the bank’sRisk, Finance and Marketing Specialist teams. The volunteersundertook the huge task of painting the interior of St Ives Respite.The teams were so determined to complete the mammoth task injust one day, they were hard at work way before 7am!KPMGSeveral teams from KPMG invited a number of Boccia athletesto their team building meeting at Wiseman’s Ferry. The feedbackfrom everyone who attended has been very positive. All had agreat time, and many discovered that Boccia isn’t as easy as itlooks!ING DirectWhat a difference the ING volunteers made to the gardens atCastle Hill. In just half a day they completely transformed thebackyard. In between weeding,mulching, pruning and plantingthey built a brand new BBQ and made time to supply afternoontea to some of the clients and their families. An amazing job!American Express, GE, KPMG, and MacquarieGroup all supplied terrific volunteers to escortour adults and children around this year’s EasterShow. A huge thanks to everyone who madethe day so memorable for our clients.We would also like to extend our gratitude toING, KPMG and Westpac for providing meetingrooms for various Spastic Centre events.

8 LEND A HELPING HAND NEWSGEThis determined team of volunteers from GE Money Insurancecompleted the huge project of giving the ProfessionalDevelopment and Learning building a fresh modern look. Thevolunteers painted the entire exterior of the building. Huge thanksto all who gave up half of their weekend to help us out.WestpacAfter meeting with the residents to select colours, 15 Westpacvolunteers transformed the bedrooms at Elanora House. Notonly was the paint sourced and donated by Bunning’s but afew of the Bunning’s staff joined the Westpac volunteers andhelped with the painting too. The house manager told us thatthe residents could not stop smiling when they saw their freshlypainted and updated rooms. Thanks to everyone for all the hardwork.American ExpressFor the third consecutive year, David Beddie from AmericanExpress organised a team of volunteers to ‘Lend a HelpingHand.’This time, they gave the hallway and bathrooms at Ryde Housea fresh coat of paint. Once finished, they also found time toweed, dig the garden and provide a lovely BBQ lunch for theresidents and staff. Thanks for ‘making a difference’.Diary Dates 20082 JulyVolunteer InformationSession (Terrey Hills)6.00pm - 8.00pm3-9 AugustNational Cerebral PalsyAwareness Week21 SeptemberBridge Run5 DecemberInternational Volunteer DayErnst and YoungOur very first volunteer team from Ernst and Young didn’t fail toimpress. Their painting and gardening skills totally changed thelook of the gardens at Grevillea Cottage. Our buses can nowaccess the site without scraping through the tree at the entrance.Even the letterbox is now visible. With some sanding and woodtreatment, the garden furniture now looks like new. With skillslike this, we look forward to more projects with EY.10 AugustCity2Surf

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