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Retirement busier than ever for Gillian

Retirement busier than ever for Gillian

There’s one Nuriootpa resident whose happy nature and bright smile lights up the room, putting everyone in a good mood for the day.

Like many people who call Barossa home, Mrs Gillian Flynn and her husband, Peter moved to the region to retire. She admits life is busier than ever after making the vine change back in August, 2007.

“I always remember people saying that when you retire, you’re busier than you were before – and you are, you really are,” she laughs.

The couple moved from Adelaide to The Vines retirement estate “for a change in lifestyle,” and that is exactly what they have achieved.

Gillian is now one of dozens of volunteers who help out at Nuriootpa’s Carers’ Link and has become a very much loved “administration lady” and receptionist, volunteering two days a week.

With the phone ringing regularly and the sliding doors into the office opening and closing for visitors throughout the day, the busy office environment is where Gillian thrives.

“I fell into just the right spot,” smiles Gillian as she takes yet another call and checks the emails.

Having been in administration for more than 25 years, she sought a volunteer role in the Barossa that would utilise her skills and enable her to keep her mind active. In August 2008, she found it.

“We came along First Street and I noticed the Carers’ Link sign. I walked in and said have you got anyone to help? They said yes and that was it, I’ve been here ever since!”

Husband, Peter started volunteering at Community Helpers at Railway Terrace.

“He was doing that and then when people got busy here he started washing the cars – no one had time to do them. One morning a week he comes in. Now he’s become Mr Fix it as well,” she says with her trademark warm smile.

Gillian loves her volunteer role and describes retirement living in the Barossa as “hectic”.

“This is my thing…This is what I really like,” she says enthusiastically.

“Just the satisfaction of being able to help. There’s a lot of people here that need help and this is a fabulous place. The people are just wonderful, I’ve never worked in an environment as wonderful as this.

“You meet so many types of people here, from all walks of life.”

She said that the wider community may not be aware of just how many people need help and with more than 800 registered with Carers’ Link in the Barossa and Light area, it’s an important service which is greatly supported by its volunteers.