Lend a hand THIS CHRISTMAS
Pittwater Day Centre
Part of Anglicare, Pittwater Day Centre assists older members in the community still living at home who are at risk of social isolation and in need of physical and mental stimulation.
Seniors are picked up from their home on Monday through to Friday, and visit St John's Church in Mona Vale, where staff put on fun activities and a meal for attendees.
"Christmas can be a lonely time for some people, particularly many of the elderly who have lost loved ones or are isolated in some way," explains team leader Jenna Quartermain. "Over the festive season, we endeavour to jam pack our program with plenty of festive spirit."
Jenna adds that around this time they are in need of many volunteers who will assist in making the festive season "as special as it can be".
Volunteers are also needed to help pick up and drop off clients, help with morning tea and lunch, spend one-on-one time with clients and just generally add to the Christmas cheer the staff aim to create over this time. “Everyone is welcome - no matter what their skillset,” Jenna ensures. For more information, phone Jenna on 9979 6832.
Monika’s Doggie Rescue
This peninsula organisation rescues small dogs and cats from pounds. The rescue centre currently has around 150 dogs and 15 cats in its care, who are looking for ’forever homes’.
"At this time of year, many of our regular volunteers go off to their hard-earned vacations, so we are always looking for local volunteers to help ﬁll their shoes," Monika Biernacki, founder of Monika’s Doggie Rescue, tells Peninsula Living.
"There are many, many tasks volunteers can undertake - including morning set up of food and water and toys for the dogs, dog feeding, dog walkers and cuddlers - plus so much more."
Monika explains that most of the jobs are on a rostered basis to suit volunteers’ needs.
The organisation, based in Ingleside, would also love any dog and cat goods, including kitty litter, cat and dog food and tick products.
"Come and share some love and the spirit of the festive season - there is just so much to do here!" Monika says. "And if you are alone at Christmas, these furry friends will help put a smile on your face.
"If you have no spare time and still want to help, Monika suggests purchasing one of the Doggie Rescue calendars - a great stock ﬁller! - for only $15.
For more information, phone 9486 3133 or visit www.doggierescue.com
"Throughout the year, we have several programs on the Northern Beaches,” says David Murphy, special works manager for Broken Bay Vinnies NSW.
"We are seeing a growing number of young, disengaged and disadvantaged people in the area and so have developed early intervention programs through our Youth Service. This has become the largest service Vinnies runs on the peninsula.”
The centre, which is always in need of local volunteers, not only provides safe, engaging spaces for young people, but also offers a range of training such as barista and hospitality courses, how to dress for job interviews, dance classes and much more.
Vinnies NSW also offers a referral service in Brookvale run by volunteers. This service gives assistance to families and individuals going through hard times. They are able to provide immediate help such as clothing and food.
And of course, Vinnies is always in need of volunteers at their shops. On the peninsula, charity stores are located in Manly, Brookvale, Forestville and Narrabeen.
To donate to a local Northern Beaches service or to ﬁnd out more about volunteering, please call Lynette Gabriel on 9495 8305 or visit www.vinnies.org.au.
Kaddy Disability Transport
Kaddy stands for the Keen, Able and Disabled of Dee Why. Established in 1981, Kaddy takes disabled people living in the Manly, Warringah and Pittwater areas to doctor, medical and hospital appointments. This is a free service, and the charity receives no government funding - relying on donations from organisations, clubs and the general public.
“We are especially in need of volunteers before the festive season. Our clients need to do Christmas shopping - and this is where the peninsula community can help,” explains Allan Hale OAM, the chairman of Kaddy, explains.
"A volunteer driver is needed to pick up and drop off clients, and another is needed to help the client shopping, usually at Warriewood or Warringah Mall.”
Also, each Monday, a group of volunteers organise morning tea and lunch for the disabled and elderly at the Uniting Church Hall in Dee Why. Attendees are transported to and from their homes for the special get together.
"People who volunteer enjoy it as they are helping a disabled person. Most of the clients are in their 50s and 60s so they can communicate with the carer and that’s what makes it all worthwhile - they can have a lovely chat!"
For more information or to volunteer, phone Barbara Smith on 9972 0242 between 9am and 12pm, Monday to Thursday or visit www.nica n.com.au.
Animal Welfare League NSW
Based in Ingleside, the Animal Welfare League (AWL) NSW rehabilitates and rehomes companion animals who have been surrendered to the organisation - from cats and dogs to guinea pigs and rabbits. "We actually would love people to come and visit our beautiful cattery over the festive season," says marketing and fundraising manager Tara Cheesman.
"Yet there are so many other reasons we'd love more volunteers - from walking the dogs, to washing the animals’ bedding. However, the greatest beneﬁt is volunteers just generally socialising with our animals by getting them used to new people and experiences,” Tara explains.
"Volunteers can help by spending time with the cats and kittens. Some cats are very timid and just need a little bit of encouragement to gain conﬁdence.
"It’s also a great opportunity for anyone interested in dogs or cats to ﬁnd out more about them, their care, and the way a shelter operates.” For more information or to volunteer, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.