The gift that keeps on giving

The Bentley resident was recently awarded the Lifetime Contribution for Volunteering award by the State Government.

She is one of only eight people to be recognised for her 30 years of service, particularly to elderly and at-risk members of the community.

When asked about what she thought of the award, Betty responded with �why me?�

�I had mixed emotions when I heard the news,� Betty said.

�I was not sure why I was so deserving of the award but I am overwhelmed that people have nominated me as it means I have touched their lives in some way.�

In her 30 years of unpaid service to the community, Betty has helped many people across a broad range of organisations.

These include providing meals for the elderly, working in prisons, volunteering at the airport, and working in retirement communities and with children in hospitals.

Betty�s tireless contribution to the community has included thousands of hours of work as well as fundraising thousands of dollars for bushfire appeals, cancer research and other charities.

In her spare time, Betty has organised fashion parades, fetes and holiday trips for residents in the residential village where she currently lives.

Betty said one of the most challenging and encouraging volunteering duties she took up was working with women at the Boronia Pre-release Centre, where she organised morning teas, lunches and regular concerts with the Boronia girls� choir.

Boronia prepares women for re-entry into the community by offering rehabilitation activities and work placements.

�When I volunteered with some of the women, they told me I was a role model for them, which I took as a big compliment as I knew I had a positive impact on their lives,� Betty said.

When asked what it took to become a selfless member of the community, Betty said it simply took a desire to want to help others.

�I believe that when you have a desire to help other people, it truly is a gift because I have always been willing to embrace others,� she says.

�When you volunteer, it keeps you young and I believe it is the secret to longevity; you need to keep socially in touch with a wide range of people from different age groups.�