Maxine Bawden is a firm believer that in helping others, you help yourself. The 69-year-old signed on as a volunteer with ACH Group two years ago and says she’s happier and healthier as a result.
“I started going on bus trips [with ACH Group’s Social Links program] and I used to help people around me, and someone suggested I would be a good volunteer,” she says. “I said I would love to, but I don’t drive. They said that doesn’t matter, we’ll pick you up!”
Every Monday Maxine volunteers at ACH Group’s newest art class at the Thebarton Community Centre, where she helps set up the room, brings artists cups of tea, and provides assistance and social support.
She also now volunteers with ACH Group’s Social Links program, providing social support on bus trips to a range of destinations around South Australia and on ‘Upcycling Tours’, visiting op shops to find a bargain and sharing lunch.
Maxine, who worked full time until the age of 55, says volunteering has given her a renewed sense of purpose and belonging.
“My husband passed away 18 years ago and we didn’t have any children, and not much family in Adelaide, so I’d been on my own,” she says. “I love coming out and getting to know people, and helping people makes me feel good, too. When they’re happy, I’m happy. It gets me out of the house and it keeps me going.”
ACH Group is supported by more than 400 volunteers across a range of roles, from transport and shopping to helping run social groups and more. Find out more about ACH Group volunteering opportunities here.