Retiree Karen finds joy in helping MercyCare Landsdale’s learners
The Sector > Provider > General News > Retiree Karen finds joy in helping MercyCare Landsdale’s learners

Retiree Karen finds joy in helping MercyCare Landsdale’s learners

by Freya Lucas

May 24, 2024

Volunteer Karen has found a new lease on her retired life, responding to an advertisement for a community gardener at a local Early Learning Centre.


Since being successful in gaining the position four years ago at MercyCare Landsdale she hasn’t looked back. 


Initially there were some aspects of the role – like taking on responsibility for the worm farm – which were unfamiliar to her, however she used the skills she had developed in her career as a librarian to upskill, learning more about worm farming techniques in order to better nourish the garden and to develop the children’s understanding too. 


Her ability to connect with children is evident, Centre Manager Tammy Dodd said, with many of the children joining her for ‘ eco warrior’ activities, such as tearing up egg cartons for composting.


Although Karen didn’t explicitly seek to work with children, the experience has been rewarding, and one which she would recommend to others. 


Whether calming a distressed child or teaching them to take turns, she applies a gentle yet firm approach that resonates with MercyCare’s ethos, Ms Dodd said. 


Beyond gardening, Karen’s commitment shines through in her readiness to assist with various small tasks around the service, something she was recognised for last year when she was nominated for a recognition award.  


Through volunteering, Karen has enriched the lives of many children and found a sense of accomplishment and community.

As National Volunteer Week celebrates the spirit of volunteerism, Karen’s story stands out as a beacon of how one small step into volunteering can lead to new skills, friendships, and excitement.

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