CatholicCare community visitor volunteer Judy Lenehan has been brightening the lives of residents at her local retirement village through sharing her love of art over the last 14 years.
As a trained nurse and talented oil painter, Judy had always been interested in supporting seniors and once she retired she was hoping to continue to put her passion into action.
"When I retired I thought well I have to do something and I had some friends who were doing manicures at the retirement village. I used to do nails and massages and I started doing dolphin cruises or bus trips as a volunteer. I always did what they liked me to do," Judy said.
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"One of the recreational activity officers at the retirement village said I'd like you to start an art group... so that's how we started out."
For just over two hours every Wednesday morning Judy runs the art group, inviting residents to come together, express their creativity and participate in a variety of activities through painting, colouring and drawing.
"Just of late I have been sitting around the table with them just doing colouring in, because they'd say 'I can't draw or I can't paint', anyway they sit down and they start and it's amazing what they can do. And they concentrate really hard and they just love it," Judy continued.
"One particular gentleman, who has sadly passed away, had the most magnificent stories about his life, but he used to love Wednesdays - he would say 'Wednesday is the best day of the week', and he used to love coming to the art group. Everyone really looks forward to their Wednesday morning of drawing or whatever they might be up for doing."
The theme for National Volunteers Week 2019 is 'Making a World of Difference' and Judy believes volunteering adds another dimension to your life.
"I really think you get more out of it than you put in. It gives you a different slant on life, you get to hear other people's stories which is fantastic and everybody has a story and you get to be a part of someone else's world," Judy said.
"To feel that you are making a difference is a joy. I also think people who volunteer in all different aspects are extraordinary.
"I think it makes a difference to not only you but it makes a difference to them, to know that someone really cares, especially if they don't have visitors or they don't have relatives close by, if they can relate to a person that's really beautiful."
This National Volunteers Week CatholicCare says thank you to all volunteers who make the world of difference to the lives of others and the whole community.
If you would like to learn more about volunteering options and becoming a volunteer with CatholicCare visit the website at catholiccare.dow.org.au or phone 4254 9328.