Making coffee fills Juniper volunteer Jessica's cup - Juniper
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Making coffee fills Juniper volunteer Jessica’s cup

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 Ella Williams volunteer, Jessica Fisher. 

Every Friday for the past year, residents from Juniper Ella Williams Residential Aged Care Home converge at the home’s on-site café to enjoy a cuppa lovingly made by volunteer Jessica Fisher.

As the unofficial barista at Ella Williams, residents not only look forward to their weekly caffeine fix but have also come to enjoy Jessica’s company.

“I run the kiosk on Friday mornings, serving residents, their visitors, and staff. This includes making coffees and selling snacks and drinks,” Jessica explains.

For 29-year-old Jessica, volunteering at the home once a week has given her a sense of fulfilment in that she is giving back to older people in her local community.

“I wanted to serve others in a way that felt meaningful, and make genuine human connections with people I might not usually meet on a daily basis,” she said.

“I also wanted to contribute to the older adult community that has done so much for me.

“Personally, I get to have conversations with some really interesting and important people, and I know that they look forward to seeing me, too.”

While she has built many connections with residents during her time as a volunteer, Jessica said engaging with older people and hearing their stories has also taught her some other life lessons.

“What I love the most is the perspective and outlook it gives me,” she said.

“Being faced with the beautiful inevitability of ageing reminds me that I am grateful to have freedom and autonomy in my daily life, that I shouldn’t waste.

“I also love being able to share good coffee with others, as it’s universal!”

This year’s theme for National Volunteer Week is The Change Makers, which celebrates the powerful impact volunteers make in supporting individuals and communities.

Jess has felt the change she has made during her year of volunteering at Juniper Ella Williams.

“I believe I am making a change by bridging a gap between younger and older generations,” she said.

“I wish to continue to create change by encouraging others, especially young people, to give back to older generations. I think older people aren’t celebrated enough for their strength and wisdom, and I wish to change this attitude.”

Jessica encourages others to consider volunteering in aged care as a fulfilling way to give back to others.

“Aged care volunteers are incredibly important,” she said.

“Imagine contributing to and living in your community for your whole life, and then having to leave it as you need to go into residential care.

“As someone who has a chronic condition I understand that the world can sometimes be difficult to navigate. By being more compassionate and accepting, I believe that we can make things easier and more inclusive for everyone, not just the majority.”