Ruth honoured for volunteer work
GIVING up her own time to put a smile on the faces of those is need, Bundaberg Kepnock Grove volunteer Ruth Van Beek has been named the Carinity 2015 Volunteer of the Year.
Ms Van Beek was among more than 100 volunteers and supporters acknowledged last week for the enormous contribution they make to aged care residents right across Queensland.
Ms Van Beek has been volunteering almost every day for four years and despite her own health issues, absolutely loves what she does.
"You can either get on with your life and enjoy what you've got or you can sit back and say 'poor me'," she said.
"It's so good to see residents laughing and reminiscing. People call out to me before I've even got to the building."
Ms Van Beek had no idea she'd been nominated and wasn't planning to attend the ceremony in Brisbane.
"I was already coming to Brisbane to see my family when I was sent a letter telling me I was a finalist," she said.
"My daughters urged me to go to the announcement high tea and what a surprise when they announced my name."
Carinity Acting CEO Jacinta Geraghty said something as simple as a volunteer's conversation and the power of being heard often made the biggest impact on elderly people in care.
"What may seem like a small contribution by one person can make a lasting and meaningful improvement to the life of another," she said.
"Ruth spends time with our residents almost every day and goes above and beyond to help out any way she can.
"No job is too hard and no task is too menial.
"She never fails to say hello to every resident and they delight in her visits."