To residents at Juniper Riverslea Residential Aged Care Home in Mount Lawley, Mark is more than just a volunteer bus driver. He’s a friendly face, a helping hand and teller of good jokes who brings a great deal of fun and laughter to residents every time he visits.

Undertaking his student placement at Juniper Riverslea while studying his Certificate IV in Health Care, Mark said he “fell in love” with the place.

“I would start out by helping the nurses during their morning rounds,” he explained.

“Then I got to know the residents, and I just love talking to them. They have so much to give, and they love sharing their stories with you.”

When he began to accompany residents on outings, Mark realised that he could help in another capacity as a volunteer bus driver.

“I love driving the bus and taking residents on outings,” he said.

“It helps them stay connected to their local community and they get out and about. I see how much it means to them to get out and about and feel the breeze on their face and the sun on their skin.”

“It helps them stay connected to their local community and they get out and about.” Juniper Riverslea volunteer Mark.

A former teacher, Mark decided two years ago that he wanted a career change and was drawn to working in healthcare.

A qualified Medical Emergency Services Officer, the 57-year-old father of two has also volunteered for St John’s Ambulance.

Since becoming a volunteer at Juniper Riverslea eight months ago, Mark has realised that working in aged care is where his passions lie.

But for now, he’s happy to continue volunteering in his spare time and admits that he enjoys scouting out places to take residents on their bus outings.

“There’s such a huge fulfillment and reward in volunteering, and it doesn’t matter what you have, there is always something you can do to help others,” Mark said.

“And you really do get a lot of joy from giving to others. As volunteer, you’re so appreciated, no matter what you do.”

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