During National Volunteer Week, May 15-21, we want to shine a light on the incredible volunteers who generously contribute their time to our clients across our Juniper community.

This year’s theme is ‘Change Makers’ which aims to highlight the incredible difference that people can make in all aspects of volunteering.

Juniper has 183 volunteers who dedicate their time to provide their expertise, knowledge and skills to support our staff, or bring joy to our clients.

Meet Juniper Hayloft volunteer Rosario Bunag.

After retiring as a nurse, Rosario Bunag wanted to find a fulfilling way to spend her free time.

Having volunteered for most of her life at her children’s school or at her local church, Rosario began toying with the idea of volunteering at an aged care home.

With Juniper Hayloft Residential Aged Care Home just a 10-minute walk away from her family home, Rosario decided to enquire about becoming a companion volunteer.

While she had no previous experience in an aged care setting, it didn’t take long for Rosario to settle into the role.

From listening intently during a one-on-one session or taking residents for an outdoor stroll, to assisting during celebrations and playing bingo, Rosario has found plenty of ways to keep busy during her weekly visits to the home.

“I just love talking to the residents and hearing their stories. Some of them have families who can’t visit them regularly, so I make sure I go and talk to them and sit down with them one-on-one,” the 69-year-old mother-of-two explained.

“Sometimes they just want someone to listen to them and I enjoy doing that.

“I just get so much personal satisfaction from volunteering. There is something so rewarding about it and it makes me feel so fulfilled knowing that I can help others.

“When you volunteer, you’re not just helping the residents you’re also helping the staff so they can do more activities with the residents.”

Since starting at Hayloft, Rosario has built a good rapport with both staff and residents, many of whom now know her by name.

“I love it when residents ask for me, it really makes me feel special,” she said.

“It’s just nice to know that they remember me when I come to visit and they look forward to seeing me.”

Rosario added that staff at Hayloft have welcomed her with open arms and made her feel like she’s part of the Juniper family.

“The staff are really good to me and have made me feel very welcome,” she said.

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