A woman who’s whole life has been dedicated to giving, but never giving up…
For 30 years, 84 year old Helene Dillon has been a truly inspirational volunteer member of the Flexible Living team, and an active volunteer in the community for over 72 years.
A unique and remarkable woman, she has touched the lives of so many in her selfless and relentless work providing for others within the community. Today, we are excited to announce Helen has been nominated for Heritage Bank’s Volunteer of the year award – and we are asking YOU to help vote for her!
The volunteer with the highest amount of public votes will receive $10000 for their service and $1000 for themselves. But, to win she needs your votes…
It can be said there is perhaps few who boast such a long and dedicated history of important volunteer work, and Helene is a wonderful example of what it means to give and never give up, with time, support and energy for others in need.
Helen has worked tirelessly within Flexible Living providing support to older people within the Logan community sharing her time and skills within the centre based program giving more than 14000 hours, making over 36000 of her famous scones and supporting more than 5000 people.
Helen’s great passion is for caring for the ageing in our community and providing genuine opportunities for friendship and connection for people living in isolated situations. As well as championing for the dignity, respect and wellbeing of people aging in the community.
Christine Jones, Manager of Volunteering Services believes, “Helene is an incredible woman and has a heart of gold, she goes above and beyond just to help another soul, and yet she has endured hard and suffering times throughout her life herself, an amazing lady “.
So enough said. For a woman who has taken a lifetime to give of herself, please take just a moment to give just a second of yours to vote for Helene.
Click here to place your vote, or read more below about her truly remarkable story.
In Helene’s Words…
“My one-day-a-week volunteer work began in 1965, after my husband died, and my younger daughter began school.
I needed and enjoyed the companionship of the other ladies, and I was able to be at home when my children returned from school. When they became independent my life would have been lonely without the friendships I’ve formed over the years as a volunteer.
I have always volunteered, as long as I can remember since I was 12 years old. During the war years, in Kincora at the Scrubby Mountain Hall, I was a part of the Sunshine Club, where people volunteered to help the men at war. We knitted socks, scarves and balaclava caps to keep the soldiers warm and rolled up ball of mending materials, we’d write letters and send off to the men in the war areas, this was called the ‘comfort fund’. During my high school years on Sundays we also served lunches to the soldiers in Toowoomba.
When my children were older I then for about 4 years volunteered as a live in support person for families who had ill health or grief, families that needed some extra support. This led me to getting a paid job nearby at The Cottage, which was the original Logan West Community Centre around 1984. They were funded for 1 year, supporting people in their homes and a Share and Care Support Group for elderly people from the Logan West Nursing Home. After the funding had ceased the Share and Care Support Group still continued, which I stayed on and volunteered once a week.
I think it was 1986 the group was transferred to the new Logan West Community Centre, where it stands today and the Golden Oldies group also commenced, both groups were opened up to the community. Because there were so many elderly people attending these groups, they were then transferred to the Logan Respite Centre in 1994, where I today continue to volunteer twice a week. But it is now known as Flexible Living.
Although for the past 3 years, 1 day a week I also volunteer at the Watson Road State School with the Breakfast Club.
I really enjoy being with the people at Flexible Support Services, both with the consumers (who are mostly not so different in age and interests to myself) and the staff, paid and unpaid, who are fun to be with. I feel a strong bond with most of them. They’re a good lot, who care about others.
Everyone’s better for the knowing and I’m a better person for knowing them. We share jokes and feel for one another when things are not ok. I miss them when they’re away and they in return make me feel needed. We all need to be needed.
Some of the consumers are so thankful for the things that we do, and that makes us feel worthwhile and glad to be in the position that we can help in some small way to give them comfort or joy. I hope to be able to keep going for as many years as I’m able to drive, or until I become a grumpy old woman and then they might gently tell me not to come anymore”
– Helene Dillon, Volunteer and Nominee for Heritage Bank’s Volunteer of the Year.