News & Events

Residents fill family gap

June 21, 2017

Volunteering at OCAV’s Braeside Park has filled the gap in Bala’s life. Living in Australia, the world away from India, where he and his wife were born, means Bala has little day-to-day contact with the elders in his family. Residents at Braeside Park in Berwick help heal that sense of loss.

“All our parents, aunts and uncles are all in India, so we have no elders here with us at all. When I go to Braeside Park each fortnight I enjoy their company. It makes me feel good to spend time with these older people,” Bala said.

Bala is one of the 179 volunteers at OCAV who have given years of service. Volunteers come from all walks of life, though few come with the IT, computer and phone skills that Bala has brought to Braeside Park. Each fortnight he spends a couple of hours at the village’s community centre, solving problems that residents have with their various devices, running impromptu workshops for anyone who is interested.

“Sometimes one of the residents will have a lot of photos on their phone and want to learn how to put them onto a USB so that they can be printed. If other people are around then they will learn too,” Bala said.

“Other times I have fixed someone’s laptop. The issues are never really major problems, but it is helpful for people if I can sort things out for them. And I enjoy doing it.”

Bala began volunteering almost a year ago and fits his service at Braeside in around a private IT business that he runs servicing, upgrading and maintaining computers and networks at schools and businesses in the area.

He first discovered Braeside Park when he was taking his two children to nearby schools and thought volunteering some of his time would be a useful contribution to the community. Residents at Braeside Park agree.

“It makes me happy when I go there. I feel satisfied that I can help and we also talk about other things that are going on in our lives. But most of all I get to spend time with older people – I miss that. OCAV residents are so kind, friendly and good life experienced people, this is a wonderful opportunity”

 

 

 

Josephine Katite may be a long way from Kenya, where she was born and lived until 2005 but the experience of looking after her elderly grandparents is very much with her every day in her work at Liscombe House.

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