Villagers’ volunteering joy

Meet Jan Pfundt and Yvonne Johnston – the smiley faces behind hundreds and hundreds of cups of tea and scones and cream served at Uniting AgeWell’s Newnham Community, Aldersgate Village Family Fun Fair recently.

Jan and Yvonne live opposite each other at the independent retirement village that abuts the aged care community - and both volunteered their services for the fair recently. They ran the Devonshire Tea stall like clockwork and was a delicious highlight of the day.

Not surprising! Jan is no stranger to volunteering. She and her husband Peter, moved into Uniting AgeWell’s Aldersgate Village with its beautiful views of the Tamar River eight years ago. One of the first things they did was to get involved with the Residents Group and organise a happy hour and the happy hour group is still going strong! Everyone meets at the new community room once a week and many close friendships have been formed over a few glasses of wine and beer.

Jan has volunteered for around 30 years, doing everything from taking elderly people shopping to volunteering at Launceston Legacy, which looks after the widows and children of deceased war veterans. Peter’s dad passed away when Peter was a baby. He and his brother and his Mum were supported by the organisation.

“I get a great deal of satisfaction from volunteering,” says Jan. “There were six of us from our village who served the Devonshire Teas at the fair and other village residents also helped out on various stalls, including Peter and two other happy hour mates, who ran the sausage sizzle stand. It all was very rewarding.”

Jan, 74, is very busy with her children and grandchildren and apart from a keen interest in politics, does not have time for any hobbies.

“My days are busy,” she laughs, “but I always find time to volunteer.”

Yvonne says that she previously volunteered on a regular basis at Glenara Lakes Nursing Home but was unable to continue because of health issues.

The fair was her first stint at volunteering for Uniting AgeWell since moving into the village, but she enjoyed it and is happy to volunteer at the next fair!

She moved into the village six years ago and says “I love it, I wouldn’t live anywhere else.”

After a lifetime of running milk bars with her husband Laurie, she plans to keep her retirement as laid back as possible. She has one daughter and three granddaughters who live nearby and hopes to spend more time helping out.

Find out how to become a volunteer with Uniting AgeWell today by phoning 13 93 75 or emailing [email protected]

Learn more about volunteering in 2024