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A caring link to community

A caring link to community

Hearts of gold are at the centre of Tanunda’s Community Helpers’ Op Shop.

A partnership between volunteers and a generous wider community has enabled this shop with a big heart to excel in their contribution towards the wellbeing of  the  region.

Mrs Shirley Laverty and Mrs Norma Liersch form part of a 27 strong roster of volunteers that happily work away in the busy Tanunda store.

Shirley, of Nuriootpa, has entered her sixteenth year volunteering with the team every Tuesday.

“We are very close, it’s a family as far as I’m concerned. We are all equals and we all help one and other,” she said.

With majority of proceeds donated to Carers’ Link, a carer support network based in Nuriootpa, Shirley said her reason for volunteering is a heart felt one.

“It’s more or less a thank you to Carers’ Link for what they have helped me through,” Shirley said.

“This is my thank you back to them, to help them make money so they can carry on and do the good work they are doing.

“I had a very sick husband with Alzheimers and without Carers’ Link, I don’t think I would have survived.”

For Shirley, it is not only a way of giving back to the organisation that supported her for at least ten years, it is her way of staying socially active and making new friends.

Volunteering has always been a part of life for Shirley. Whether it be taking the elderly to lunch, delivering Meals on Wheels or giving “a love and hug” to someone who needs some “Shirl” time, she gains as much from the experience as she does from those she cares about.

“I like the company that I work with and to have a boss like I’ve got – you couldn’t wish for anyone better!”

Her “boss” is Norma who has managed the Community Helpers’ Op Shop for the past four years.

“Shirley is one of the really faithful ones, it’s got to be very serious if she doesn’t turn up!” Norma said of her fellow volunteer who turns 80 this week.

Norma is in her 15th year volunteering at the second-hand store and says she was looking for something to do after returning to Tanunda to retire with her now late husband, Wes.

As a former “copper’s wife” and moving to different regional towns, volunteering was Norma’s way of connecting with people and contributing to the vibrancy of small town living.

She helped form the Cubs when living in Eudunda and put her hand up for Red Cross and school committees.

Now Norma is a CWA member, helps the Tanunda Town Band behind the scenes and spends anything up to five days a week at the Community Helpers’ Op Shop.

For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.

For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.