Meridith Lord, a dedicated volunteer for HBNC, has generously contributed her time for the past 12 months. While her typical commitment involves about 1 hour every fortnight, there are instances when she devotes up to 8 hours a week, depending on ongoing activities. Meridith primarily focuses on assisting one main lady but occasionally engages in group activities with others.

The catalyst for Meridith’s decision to volunteer at HBNC was a lifechanging event – the passing of her partner. Seeking solace and connection, she joined the “Cooking for One” program at HBNC. The experience proved not only enjoyable but also instrumental in forging new friendships. Motivated by a desire to give back to the community, Meridith transitioned from program participant to dedicated volunteer.

One of Meridith’s most memorable experiences involves her primary focus, a lady who initially struggled with depression and a narrow mindset. Through Meridith’s support, the lady’s disposition transformed, and she now actively participates in various activities. A particular joy for her is the lady’s enthusiasm for having her nails painted – a simple yet meaningful gesture that symbolises the positive change.

Reflecting on her volunteer journey, Meridith acknowledges the profound impact it has had on her own life. Meeting new friends and engaging in diverse activities, she discovered the breadth of opportunities to contribute and connect within the community. The experience has provided her with numerous happy moments, such as assisting with Melbourne Cup preparations, including nail painting, hairstyling, and coordinating a fashion parade.

For those considering volunteering, Meridith offers simple yet powerful advice: “Do it, it’s very rewarding.” Her journey, succinctly described as “wonderful,” captures the essence of the joy and satisfaction derived from the reciprocal nature of her visits. Feeling wanted by both residents and staff, Meridith’s story emphasises the immeasurable value of volunteering, not only in the positive impact on others but also in the personal fulfillment it brings to the volunteer.