The youngest volunteers
26 March 2013

The youngest volunteers

Every Monday at Benetas Dowell Court in East Ivanhoe, hallways are filled with laughter and squeals of delight. Who’s responsible? That’s Benetas’ youngest volunteers: 14 month old Amelia and her three year old brother Ben.

Their mum, Sally, had always wanted to volunteer and when Amelia was just a few months old, Sally had three days free when Ben was at day care.

“When we first started coming to Dowell Court it was just me and Amelia. It was absolutely wonderful,” explained Sally.

“Amelia would sit on everyone’s lap and have lots of cuddles. Once she started crawling, the residents would sit in a circle and watch her crawl from one person to the next. Now she is walking she just shows off and runs up to everyone giving them big hugs.”

When Sally got a new job at the end of 2012, she started bringing Ben. “The highlight for Ben was giving each resident a gift for Christmas. He is at that age where he thinks that he doesn’t have to share. When he gave out the gifts and the residents made a huge deal about it, he was really happy. He still talks about it.”

There were many reasons why Sally wanted to volunteer at Benetas Dowell Court, but the main reason was to give Ben and Amelia a chance to build relationships with older people.

“Amelia and Ben do not have grandparents of their own so I really love that they get to interact with all the residents every week. I think they have adopted some residents as their grandparents already!

“Benetas Dowell Court is perfect for us. Everyone is so friendly and caring. I wanted to volunteer somewhere the kids and I could keep visiting for years to come and we have that at Benetas. My children now have the opportunity to grow up here and keep relationships with staff and the residents,” Sally said.

Find out more about volunteering at Benetas.