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Doll beds a labour of love for Bill

Volunteer Bill Hosszu has a very special reason to help make doll’s beds at ACH Group residential home Perry Park – his grand-daughter, Poppy.

Mr Hosszu is one of the dedicated volunteers who spend many hours each week at the Port Noarlunga site’s Men’s Shed.

They work with residents who combine their skills in woodwork and sewing to make beds, which are carved, sanded and lacquered, then decorated with lacework, rails and curtains, tiny mattresses, quilts and pillows.

Mr Hosszu says the beds are in demand.

“We’ve sold three and we have orders for more,” he says. “One of the beds is going to my grand-daughter Poppy.”

The Perry Park Men’s Shed was recently upgraded thanks to a grant from Onkaparinga Council and the ACH Group Foundation for Older Australians. As well as beds, the group makes rocking horses, wall clocks, Christmas decorations and more.

“I enjoy the work and I enjoy spending time with everyone here,” Mr Hosszu says. “These fellas are so happy to be here; it’s a wonderful place.”

ACH Group Volunteer Team Leader Tay Parker says the role of volunteers at ACH Group is evolving.

“We’re moving away from what has been quite a passive role to something more dynamic,” she says. “In our social links programs in particular, we try to match volunteers with customers who both love doing the same thing. It’s about doing things with people instead of doing things for them.”

Ms Parker says ACH Group relies on volunteers to deliver its promise of creating Good Lives for Older people.

“Our Good Lives framework is about connection and engagement,” she says. “Our volunteers provide an extra dimension of support that is vital to our organisation; it underpins everything that we do.”

There are 380 volunteers across the organisation who contribute 77,300 hours a year. They work in a broad range of roles, including support for specialist programs in dementia, respite and disability, help with programs including choirs, health and activities, social support, transport, garden maintenance, administration support, teaching, fundraising and events. As well as retirees, our volunteers include part time and full time workers and students.

Find out how you can get involved here.

National Volunteer Week runs from 8-14 May.