Avis's 28 year dedication

VOLUNTEER: Avis Clarke, Esther Piggott and Anne Battersby at Esther's 96th birthday celebrations.
VOLUNTEER: Avis Clarke, Esther Piggott and Anne Battersby at Esther's 96th birthday celebrations.

A volunteer in Booleroo Centre is being celebrated for giving 28 years of service to the hospital and health services, recognising the vital role that volunteers have in regional communities.

Avis Clarke, who initially started volunteering because of her love for children, will this year surpass her original 15 year plan of volunteering and instead hit 28 years.

Each Tuesday, Avis lights up the Booleroo Centre and Districts Hospital and Health Services with a basket full of home grown flowers, which are then divided among the residents and made into beautiful bunches to be spread throughout the hospital.

She says that she purely just enjoys sharing her flowers and working with people.

"I just enjoy it. Because I grow flowers and I like sharing them with people. Most of them I grow in my garden and I have been picking some roses from the hospital garden.

"Some of them come out and arrange them. They like them in their rooms and it is an opportunity to chat and share with residents about the gardens. It is good to motivate conversation," Avis said.

Julie Arthur, the executive officer and director of nursing at the hospital says they have always had such incredible volunteer support, but there is just something special about the vibrancy that Avis brings to the room.

VOLUNTEERING: The bunches of flowers that Avis puts together with the residents of the hospital.

VOLUNTEERING: The bunches of flowers that Avis puts together with the residents of the hospital.

She is just such an amazing, caring and giving person.

Julie Arthur

"The residents look for her to come each week. Not only the residents but the staff. The residents are what make this hospital the vibrant place it is. I can't say enough about Avis, she volunteers in other organisations as well," Julie said.

With National Volunteers Week running from May 20 until 26, volunteers are being recognised for all the hours they give to local organisations.

Avis believes there is more benefit to volunteering than just giving your time, but that it can have relaying effects on residents who need the interaction.

"I think in this area, lots of people are involved with volunteering. Here at the hospital they have people come in to massage their hands and nails. There are different volunteering things happening every day.

"It helps the people in residence to pass the time of the day. Otherwise if they don't have visitors they don't have anyone to talk to so it would be pretty boring sitting around without any people bringing in news from outside," Avis explained.