Goondiwindi Meals on Wheels desperate for volunteers

Meals on Wheels volunteers Lyn Smith and Andrea Swemmer on a delivery to Doreen Ireland.
Meals on Wheels volunteers Lyn Smith and Andrea Swemmer on a delivery to Doreen Ireland.

Our community groups are suffering and they need your help! It has been a tough few years for our region with drought and the pandemic but it's our community spirit that has kept us afloat. Now, more than ever, is the time to put your hand up and volunteer your time.

This year's Christmas Eve fireworks have had to be cancelled, mostly due to Covid, but also in part to a lack of volunteers.

And our hospital auxiliary is facing dire times after more than 60 years supporting those who need it most.

As committee numbers dwindle the age of members is rising in most groups with a call for "young blood" to help keep these vital services alive.

Now, Meals on Wheels, are needing a hand too.

The Meals on Wheels group has been serving the community for 44 years, originally started by the Anglican Church minister.

Secretary, Lynn Smith, said the cooking used to happen in the Church of England hall. "The volunteers did their own cooking then, taking turns week about and delivering to about 25 people," she said.

Lynn's Mum, Joyce Gilbert, introduced her to the group, having only just given up delivering herself at 87-years-old.

"It's very rewarding," Lynn said. "It's all about trying to help the elderly and people with disabilities to stay in their own home for as long as possible," she said.

"We provide a full midday meal with dessert and a drink. But it's more than just a meal; you become attached to the people you visit. It's like having an extra family member who checks in on them every day."

Kaloma now cooks all the meals and there are about 80 volunteers who do the delivering but it's committee people who are needed for the management aspect of the group.

Many serving members have been on the board for some time with Lyn serving more than 20 years with Pam Clayton and Sandra Elsley notching-up significant service too.

"We've had a good committee," Lynn said. "But it's time for some of us to move on. Some younger, community-minded people would be great. And people who are a bit more tech-savvy."

The secretary's role involves taking minutes at each meeting, which were monthly but have slowed due to Covid. "It's probably one or two hours a week to keep on top of things like checking emails. The reporting is shared with the treasurer.

"If you are interested in helping we'll find a role that suits you," Lynn said.

You can contact Lyn on 0412 534 870 or via goondimow@gmail.com