A VOLUNTEER role blossomed into a lifelong friendship for Caroline Kellow and Dorothy Morris.
Ms Kellow joined Citizen Advocacy Perth West in 2008 and shortly after was introduced to Ms Morris, who lived in supported accommodation in Gwelup with other women with disabilities.
Her role was to provide social support and friendship, and the pair quickly bonded over their shared interest in arts.
She became a trusted confidante and acted as a chaperone on many dates after Ms Morris confided she hoped to find a partner and get married.
But the latter was still enamoured with a man she had met 15 years previously, Darryl, who had moved to Albany.
With help from Ms Kellow, she made several visits to Albany and the relationship grew into a marriage proposal, with her friend by her side as bridesmaid at the wedding.
“Caroline’s a good person, who has helped me,’” Ms Morris said.
“I have been very happy since marrying Darryl.”
The friends have maintained their relationship despite the distance, with visits to Perth and Albany and regular phone calls.
For Ms Kellow, it has been an invaluable experience.
“Changes are incremental and cumulative, but profound,” she said.
Citizen Advocacy fosters trusting relationships between advocates and people with intellectual disabilities to offer support without conflict of interest.
It will hold a free information session on Saturday, May 26 from 9am at 2A, 28 Guthrie Street, Osborne Park to coincide with National Volunteer Week.
Call 9445 9991.