AU – Carers Day Out Wollongong
On the 26th October, 2016, a team of RRT volunteers headed down to the Ribbonwood Centre in Dapto south of Wollongong to help support the Carers NSW 40 Years Celebration.
Carers NSW is a not-for-profit organisation that works with all carers regardless of their age, location, life-stage or circumstances. This includes those caring for individuals with support needs relating to aging, disability, health and mental illness.
During her time as Executive Secretary of the NSW Council of the Ageing in the early 1970’s, Averil Fink continually heard stories of women having to end their employment to care for parents, or balance work and care while supporting a spouse or parent. In March 1975 Averil Fink and Clare Stevenson, Research Officer at Council of the Ageing, set about conducting a survey of people caring for a loved one in NSW.
The report identified a group of people working tirelessly to care for an older parent, most of these people were unable to work because their older parent could only be left alone for very short periods of time, if at all. A large number of these people had been caring for their older parent for 10 years or more without a regular break from their caring responsibilities.
In the report Clare referred to these people as ‘carers’ and reported that through her investigation she was able to detect courage, fatigue, love, tolerance, loneliness, sometimes economic need and almost always social deprivation.
Armed with these findings, Averil and Clare formed a Carers Committee within the NSW Council on Ageing and set about creating a support network for carers. This was the beginning of Carers NSW as we know it today.
Over the years, with Averil Fink sitting on the Board of Directors, Carers NSW has grown into a state wide organisation that is able to provide support to carers no matter what their personal situation may be.
2016 marked 40 years since the Carers Committee was formed in New South Wales. As a way to express the organisation’s focus to improve the life of carers, a series of free events for carers and their families was offered in various locations throughout NSW. This included a range of activities, workshops, live entertainment, information stalls and delicious food.
RRT arrived onsite at 8.00 AM and set up the BBQ trailer to prepare free meals for all attendees. First through was the bacon then the vege & gluten-free burgers. Finally it was time to cook a stack of beef burgers. After these were done, it was all systems go to get it on the tables ready for serving. Thanks to our dedicated team of helpers it all went like clockwork and the crowds started streaming through for their feed!
The comments and compliments were many and varied but the overwhelming response was of thankfulness and appreciation for the delicious food being served. The RRT carer’s contact, Akanksha, spoke highly of the team, ‘just like a large family; always somebody willing to jump in and fill a spot, always someone ready to carry drinks around to the carers, an awesome effort, thanks so much guys!’
RRT is always willing to support compassionate organisations such as Carers NSW and congratulate them on 40 years of service!