A GROUP of ActewAGL staff members got to work over the weekend doing yard work at Carers ACT’s short-term respite care centre for people with dementia, Deakin Cottage.Deakin Cottage can accommodate eight people who have dementia at a time, who stay for a day or two while their carers, usually family members, significant others and close friends, have some well-earned time to themselves.
The Cottage received a new pergola, plants and garden areas, while a chicken pen was removed and replaced, drains were cleared. The installation of a new rainwater tank will be finished off on Wednesday, according to an ActewAGL spokesperson.
There was also a plan to put in a new foot path and hand rails, which the utility company’s volunteers hope to complete at a later date.ActewAGL’s director of marketing and corporate affairs, Paul Walshe, says staff “jumped at the chance” to help Carers ACT as part of the company’s annual staff volunteering program.
“Our staff volunteer program is in its third year,” says Mr Walshe.
“Last year we replaced electric hot-water systems with solar and fixed a damaged carport for charity organisation L’Arche, who support those with an intellectual disability, and in 2011, we built an outdoor learning area, barbecue and garden for the Galilee school, who provide an alternate education program for disadvantaged youth.”ActewAGL volunteer Kelly Barry said it was a good feeling to do volunteer work and was glad her employer gave her the chance “to do something of this significance”.
Carers ACT CEO Dee McGrath says she appreciates the hard work of the ActewAGL volunteers and is excited to see the new look outdoor areas.
“The Cottage is a home away from home 24/7 respite service which provides quality care for people with dementia and their carers,” Ms McGrath said. “This effort will put smiles on the faces of residents, many of whom face tough challenges.”Carers ACT provide services to all kinds of carers and the people they care for through respite, counselling, support groups, educational and social activities.