Willows Estate toasts volunteers with roast beef dinner

Willows Estate nutritional care team member Charlene Robinson takes a break with desserts. She prepared a roast beef dinner recently to honour the Aurora long-term care home’s volunteers.

‘They’re helpful and they’re dedicated’

From the man who clears the dishes after a meal to the woman who hosts a small friendship circle, Willows Estate views its volunteers as integral members of the care team.

So, when National Volunteer Week fell on the calendar, nothing short of a roast beef dinner was in order for those who offer their time in a variety of capacities to the Aurora long-term care home and its residents.

National Volunteer Week 2019, “The Volunteer Factor – Lifting Communities,” ran from April 7-13.

This year’s theme aimed to celebrate and recognize the exponential impact of volunteers on their communities.

During National Volunteer Week, Willows Estate hosted a dinner to honour its volunteers, many of whom have been lending a hand at the home for 20-plus years.

“They’re helpful and they’re dedicated,” life enrichment co-ordinator Teddy Mazzuca tells The OMNIway.

“The more volunteers we have the better it is.”

The dinner brought together a small team of volunteers and residents who dined on roast beef, mashed potatoes and the rest of the trimmings of the traditional Sunday meal and exchanged conversation.

Volunteers particularly enjoyed breaking bread with the residents, Teddy notes. “It was very small and intimate.” Willows Estate was able to offer this special dining experience since only a portion of its volunteer team was able to attend.

Teddy says the home is fortunate to have long-term volunteers so recognizing them is important.

They contribute in a variety of ways at the home from providing pet therapy to offering pastoral services. One of the newest volunteers is the husband of one of the residents. Twice daily, he’s helping at meal time, clearing dishes after meals and engaging with residents.

Meanwhile, volunteer Rose Vanderhoff, leads the friendship circle, which runs twice a week for up to three hours at a time with a small group of residents. Rose tells The OMNIway it’s a rewarding experience.

Please stay tuned to the website for a story more about Rose’s contribution to the home.

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