Mentor Noela Halacas and program participant Kate Pangbourne spent about 30 hours together over several months to help Kate complete the mandatory 120 hours of Learner driving. Noela was present when Kate gained her Probationary licence.
Noela says: “The satisfaction from being a Mentor in the L2P Program has been overwhelmingly enjoyable. The close relationships with my Mentees is a pleasure, watching their confidence grow in their driving and in their life from our conversations during the many hours of lessons has been rewarding. I believe the young people come out of this program with a more respectful insight to their future than what they expected at the start. It’s not just the driving lessons, it is the relationship that is so worthwhile.”
Graeme Watts, like most volunteers, generously donates his time to a number of community activities. He is an active member of the Benalla Lions Club and has almost reached 120 donations with the Red Cross blood bank. Graeme is a long term volunteer with Meals on Wheels, a service delivered daily to assist clients live independently in their own homes. He is quick to point out that it’s “not just about the food”. The key benefit lies in the regular interaction between volunteers and clients who can be socially isolated.
Image: Graeme at the Hospital Kitchen ready to collect Meals for his Wheels
John Lindsay has volunteered with the Council since 2005. As well as a volunteer driver with Aged and Disability Service, he is also a keen ‘Rose Dead Header’ with the Friends of the Benalla Botanical Gardens and volunteered with the Wall to Wall Street Art Festival 2016. We caught up with John at the Rose City Ladies Luncheon. He says he has really enjoyed getting to know the activities staff and attendees over the years and looks forward to the friendly bus banter as he transports planned activities participants to their homes. Recently, John has had trainee bus driver Tim Murphy along for the ride. Tim, at 30 years of age, enjoys the flexibility of the volunteer role and finds satisfaction being around the older clients as “there are definitely life lessons I can learn.”
Image: John and Tim on hand to assist members of the Rose City Ladies Group.
Barbara Tatterson, Tricia Potter and Betty Lindsay are members of a dedicated groups of Friends members who meet twice a week to lovingly the spent blooms from the estimated 1000 rose specimens planted in the Gardens. So with tongue firmly in check, these hard-working members have given themselves the not-so-subtle title of the “Dead Heads”.
While all avid gardeners, the key skills required to be a dead head include patience, practice with secateurs and a good sense of humour. What keeps them coming back year after year? Barbara is motivated by a “love of roses”, Tricia sees it as a great way to “give back to community” and Betty appreciates “a sense of achievement and how beautiful it is to work amongst the roses”. This dedicated group help keep the garden blooming and weed free.
Image: Barbara Tatterson, Tricia Potter and Betty Lindsay – coming up roses.