Recognising Helping Hands this International Day of Charity

St Ann's, Wellington Views |

Maria began her journey with Respect in early 2022 as a volunteer at Wellington Views in Old Beach, Tasmania

The International Day of Charity is celebrated each year on 5th September, encouraging people, organisations and communities across the world to lend a helping hand to others through volunteer and philanthropic activities.

Respect was proudly built on a foundation of philanthropy, with each of homes built and developed through significant community generosity and the kindness of those willing to donate both money and time. 

It started over a century ago, when Barbara Barnett started St Ann’s, one of the first aged care homes in Australia. With just 10 pounds in her pocket and not enough blankets to go around the first night she opened her doors to the elderly people of Hobart, many of whom were in dire need. 

But through the sheer determination of countless volunteers hoping to instigate positive change and the generosity of the local community, St Ann’s grew and evolved over the years to be one of the finest homes in the country. 

The same philanthropic spirit is today exhibited by so many across our Respect network – from our kind donors, generous bequestors and dedicated volunteers. 

One of these individuals is Maria, who began her journey with Respect in early 2022 as a volunteer at Wellington Views in Old Beach, Tasmania – a role she continues today and finds just as rewarding as the day she started with our home. 

Driven by a desire to give back during her retirement, Maria’s regular visits to a relative in aged care inspired her to appreciate how important positive connections and interactions can be to boost wellbeing. Recognising the joy these interactions brought both her and her loved one, Maria found her calling to make a meaningful impact. And today, her commitment shines through as she dedicates two days each week as an integral part of Wellington Views’s social care team. 

Maria is involved in organising and assisting with various activities design to engage residents, such as bingo, footy tipping competitions, shoot and shuffle, word games, and garden club activities. Maria’s role also extends beyond these activities; she diligently records minutes of consumer meetings and meets with residents individually to address queries they might have. Her willingness to lend a hand wherever needed showcases her dedication to supporting the team and enhancing residents’ experiences.  

Maria says: “I live by the mantra that small things make a big difference, and this is particularly so in aged care. It may be something as simple as buying a newspaper or a magazine to give to residents who maybe don’t have family and have no means of obtaining the little luxuries.”   

Maria’s approach of treating everyone with dignity and respect is complemented by her adaptable communication style, tailored to each resident’s unique situation.  

Maria finds her volunteer role immensely fulfilling. It’s her way of giving back to the community and making a genuine difference in the residents’ wellbeing and happiness. Stepping into Wellington Views, she feels like a part of a vibrant and joyful community, underscoring the positivity she brings to her volunteering journey.  

If you are looking to get involved, donations and support – both big and small – can be directed towards a specific aged care home or area of research into aged care. More information about supporting Respect, whether through a donation of time or financial contribution, is currently available by visiting:

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