Roy McGuiness is retiring as a volunteer after 28 years of helping out with Impact Community Services in Bundaberg.
Roy is regretfully hanging up his volunteer boots to focus on his health and family.
Impact has thanked Roy for his hard work and dedication to the cause.
His decision came at the beginning of Seniors Week and offers a timely reminder of why it’s so important to spend time with the elderly and offer valued companionship to people who would otherwise be lonely.
The 75-year-old began with Impact’s Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) in 1992 which is when the pilot program was first rolled out in Australia, making Roy one of the longest serving CVS volunteers in the country.
Roy said anybody who doesn’t volunteer is missing out.
“I just love everything about it,” the retiree said.
After a demanding career in telecommunications Roy wanted to pursue a more rewarding role, so he enrolled in SkillShare’s (an earlier version of Impact) 12-week aged care course.
He worked his way into the industry by first volunteering at Kepnock Grove and not long after became employed as a carer and cleaner.
At the beginning of his aged care career Roy could only pick up shifts in the morning and evening, so he would ride his pushbike around town under the midday sun to voluntarily visit his friends in the CVS program.
“I rode 25 miles one day,” he said. “Then I did two hours work after that.”
Roy enjoyed everything about the kind-hearted act, from the fulfilling companionship he offered others, to the life stories he got to hear and the extended families he grew to know.
“That’s the best part,” Roy said. “When you get to meet their family members and develop relationships with them, that’s when it gets really good.”
Family members really appreciate the impact that CVS volunteers have, as often family are not in the same town, leaving their loved ones with no local connections.
Over the years Roy made such detailed reports of his visits with participants that Impact staff felt like they had been there in the room themselves.
Without a doubt, Roy has shared in some emotional times and has been to many funerals throughout his career. But the heartache of losing someone simply reflects the depth of friendship gained.
Roy said volunteering is a very rewarding and important opportunity to help others.
“It’s such a heart-warming thing to do,” he said.
If he could, Roy would go on volunteering forever, however it’s time for him to step aside and let others fill his shoes.
If you are interested in meeting new people and making a real difference in someone’s life, phone us today on 4153 4233 or visit the volunteer information page our website.