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Volunteering has been a major part of Adele Fraser’s life.
A retired teacher from Nawton Primary School, Adele began volunteering during school holidays, delivering meals to older people in Hamilton through the YWCA Mobile Meals programme, and has been involved for over 20 years.
Now, she spends at least one day a week delivering meals to older people in their homes. This involves picking meals up from YWCA and driving them around the city to older people who may not be able to leave their home.
She enjoys delivering a vital service, not just through the provision of meals, but also providing company to many people who don’t often leave their homes.
"I may be the only person they see during their day – you meet so many interesting people and become very attached to them."
Adele has also been involved with KiwiWatch Community Patrol for a number of years, assisting New Zealand Police to make communities safer. This involves helping police in the community, watching for any matters police need to know about and assisting in the case of a car accident. Adele now longer actively patrols, but helps with fundraising for the group to continue operating.
Being involved in voluntary work is an important aspect of Adele’s life, and she believes older people who are retired may have more time and ability to offer their services in a voluntary role.
"I was brought up to give, not just to take. And I will continue to for as long as I’m able to."
Paula Johnson from YWCA Mobile Meals has a tremendous amount of respect and appreciation for Adele and the countless hours she has given up to help others.
"Adele is such a bright bubbly person she can’t help but put a smile on our clients’ faces. She gives feedback when she is concerned about a client so I can follow up. She is a kind, caring volunteer - an asset to the YWCA Mobile Meals."
Adele encourages other older people to volunteer in an area they are interested in, because there will always be a need for volunteers in lots of different sectors.
"I would encourage others to just get out there and give it a go. Find something that interests you. Because when you do, it’s a lot of fun!"
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Volunteering Waikato at 07 839 3191 or www.volunteeringwaikato.org.nz.