Winners are grinners: National Volunteer Week

On 23 May in the midst of National Volunteer Week, we celebrated our wonderful cohort of individual, corporate, Anglican and community volunteers with a Mad Hatters tea party, where we presented awards and thanked them all for their generous support.

There was plenty of chatter over coffee and a delicious morning tea as guests gathered at James Watson Aged Care Centre and got into the spirit with their delightfully “mad” hats.

On behalf of fellow board members, management, staff, clients and residents of St Bart’s, board member Hamish Milne presented volunteers with awards.

“Our volunteers give their time to do all sorts of things for us,” Hamish said. “They make up beds and sew hand-made quilts for women coming into the Women’s Service; they play chess, pool, cards or have a joke or a yarn with our gents at James Watson; and they write up CVs and teach computer skills to the men in Future Homes to help them get jobs or training opportunities.

They might be gardening, painting or spring cleaning at our Community Recovery Villages, or they might even be building a new playground and leisure area for the kids and families in our Families Program, which is exactly what our biggest corporate partner, BHP, recently completed.”

This year, the St Bart’s Small Business Volunteer of the Year Award went to Essense of Australia, the Corporate Volunteer of the Year Award to BHP Western Australia, and the Community Group Volunteer of the Year Award to Kennedy Baptist College.

Taking out the 2019 Individual Volunteer or the Year Award, Janusz Korek is now coming up to seven years of volunteering with St Bart’s. However, his story with our organisation goes back further still.

“St Bart’s rescued me when I was homeless,” Janusz explains. “Me volunteering is my way of giving a little back to St Bart’s and helping some of my fellow travellers.

This award is recognition that what I’m trying to achieve is valued, and it’s nice to know that I’m appreciated.”

A big thank you must go to Lotterywest and Volunteering WA for the generous grant that allowed us to celebrate this special occasion.