Francey Samson is an easygoing, unflappable person with a quick and merry laugh. So as a volunteer she brings a wonderfully positive energy to Enliven in Nelson.
After a family member experienced dementia, Francey responded to an ad in the local paper for Harakeke Club volunteers. That was almost three years ago, and Francey’s still enjoying every session. “I just love interacting with the members, getting alongside them. I love that contact.”
Francey’s tasks at the Club aren’t arduous. “I join in the games with the members, help with refreshments, and then after lunch I set up the craft table for activities such as colouring in. It’s kind of my thing,” she says. But her contribution is invaluable. She and her fellow volunteers are the “secret ingredient” that makes Enliven day programmes a fun day out and not just day care.
Francey is one of almost 300 volunteers supporting their local community through Presbyterian Support Upper South Island (PSUSI). In Nelson they are minivan assistants and day programme volunteers. “Our Enliven volunteers are vital to the work we do,” says Trish Armstrong, Enliven Day Programme Manager. “They help create an environment that is warm and homely; somewhere that our members look forward to coming to each week.”
Volunteering impacts Francey’s life in many ways too. “When I can’t go to my volunteering, I miss it,” she says.
If you’re interested in volunteering for Enliven, learn more at www.psuppersouth.org.nz/volunteer.