News & Events

Bev’s the face of our winter appeal

May 24, 2018

Bev Ward has seen Leith Park, OCAV’s village in St Helena, ‘up close and personal’ in a way few others have. As a younger woman she lived in the area and knew the place. Down the track her parents moved in and that’s when she became very familiar with the staff, buildings, gardens, the services and the opportunities for her ageing parents.

Her father’s cancer gave Bev an insight into some of the vital services most people would rather avoid.

“OCAV really was a lifesaver for my mum,” Bev said. “Both my parents lived here happily but it was only when Dad got sick with secondary cancer that I really understood the benefit of a place like this.”

It wasn’t just the medical care Bev’s father received at Liscombe House, OCAV’s aged care facility, but the pastoral care from staff and management; the things not usually mentioned on a promotional brochure.

The experience inspired her to volunteer at Liscombe House to offer some support and care to older people, like her parents.  Each Thursday she runs a singalong for residents, playing the piano and encouraging resident to join in the fun.

Bev’s intimate knowledge of OCAV convinced her that when she got older, Leith Park was the place for her. It also encouraged her to be the face of the 2018 Winter Appeal. Bev’s image and story appears on the appeal letter being sent to residents and supporters this month.

“When my husband and I were ready for a bit more support, of course we turned to OCAV. We’ve never looked back. It’s convenient to the local services we used before we moved and now we can enjoy all the activities inside our village as well – there really is something for everyone.

“Having options for moving into higher levels of care gave us such peace of mind. That’s when I started volunteering,” Bev said.

“Oh, and the gardens! I can’t imagine how much it costs to maintain all the grounds but it’s wonderful. Every day I go for a good walk around the property.”

Bev hopes people will donate to the appeal to allow more housing to be provided for ageing Victorians.

“They keep making the place better and improving existing cottages and that costs money. I love my life here. Doesn’t everyone deserve to live in a place like this.”

Volunteering is important to Deb, enabling her to contribute in the aged care sector. “I love it when the residents get downright cheeky. I love it when we get a bit too loud with laughing."

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