Bob Cook on stage, Margaret Mott hugging Jocelyn Milne, one of the volunteers now on the honour roll.
Bob Cook on stage, Margaret Mott hugging Jocelyn Milne, one of the volunteers now on the honour roll.

Dalby volunteers honoured for decades of service

CLIENTS and volunteers of Dalby’s Meals on Wheels came together last Thursday to celebrate another great year with their annual Christmas lunch.

Dalby Meals on Wheels service manager Jess Chapman said the lunch was something they did every year to bring everyone together and show appreciation to the volunteers.

“We rely on our volunteers knowing the clients so that we cannot only recognise if something’s abnormal during our home checks but really developing that community and encouraging friendships among our client base,” she said.

This year’s lunch was particularly special as it offered the opportunity to honour long-time volunteers who had been added to the Queensland Meals on Wheels Honour Roll.

The six women added to the honour roll were Beth Brown, Betty Conway and Gloria Cook with 42 years’ service, Jocelyn Milne with 41 years’ service, Betty Vaughan with 31 years’ service and Shirley Buckley with 34 years’ service.

The hours put in by volunteers such as the women honoured this year allow Meals On Wheels to continue serving the community.

Ms Chapman said there were about 100 active volunteers and 70 clients who ordered week in, week out in the Dalby area.

“We do a lot of short-term restorative care and obviously now we have people under the NDIS care packages coming on,” she said.

“We’re certainly no longer just for seniors, we have a lot of young people receiving our services too.”

Ms Chapman said there was a natural ebb and flow to volunteer numbers.

“We can have a lot of active volunteers but due to a lot of our volunteers being retired, suddenly we can end up losing up to 25 per cent due to health reasons,” she said.

“So we’re always looking for new people.

“We also run a book exchange, which is our social program, so we also use volunteers in that.

“With our meal delivery, we try to stay and chat but under food safety we can’t spend an hour at each house. Our book exchange program, we send two volunteers around with a book and they will stay for a cuppa and a couple of hours’ chat.”

If you’d like to get involved with Meals on Wheels, phone Ms Chapman on 4662 5230 or email mowdalby@bigpond. com.


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