Bull Creek volunteer encourages other retirees to make use of experience


Volunteer Lesley Watson.
Volunteer Lesley Watson.

A Bull Creek resident has encouraged other retirees to consider volunteering, saying their life experience means they have plenty to offer the community.

Lesley Watson worked at Notre Dame’s Co-op book shop until 2013 before turning to volunteering to keep busy after her retirement.

Ms Watson is a docent at Perth Zoo, has offered her time at a Thailand elephant sanctuary and was recently welcomed as the 300th member of Fiona Stanley Hospital’s team of volunteers.

She said the roles had kept her fulfilled.

“Volunteering gets you out of your comfort zone,” she said.

“It’s easy to read a book or go for coffee with friends but I’m really keen to keep learning.

“It’s important to keep learning and challenging yourself.”

She said other retirees could also step into volunteering.

“People have a lot of life experience and understanding to give,” she said.

Ms Watson’s role at Fiona Stanley is a mixed one, spending time across several departments.

Hospital volunteer services co-ordinator David Tomlinson said each new volunteer brought with them a fresh set of skills and life experiences, enabling the service to grow and develop.

“Our volunteers provide a variety of services designed to support patients during their time in hospital, from delivering newspapers to supporting patients and their families when they present to the emergency department,” Mr Tomlinson said.

“Many of our patients have been inspired to give back and have become volunteers themselves.

“These volunteers work in specialist areas and offer practical support through first-hand experience.”