The Walcha Support Group held its annual supporters luncheon yesterday at the local Bowling Club.
President Carolyn Salter said the group has now been going for 29 years.
“We find it amazing that many local people are still are not aware of what we actually do,’ she said.
“We are a group of ordinary people who are concerned for those who have a debilitating or life threatening illness. Though there is often nothing much we can do to help, we do send out cards to let people know we care.
“However, we don’t always know of people who are ill, and we certainly are unable to do anything when we don’t know. “
Mrs Salter said the group depended on the help from the general community to reach out to those who need them.
“We also realise that there are those who prefer that people do not know of their illness, and/or who wish to remain private – and we respect that,” she said.
“Our monthly meetings are confidential; there are some sad times, but uplifting ones too; we make new friends and have fun as well.
“We are an open group and everyone is welcome – whether a patient, a carer, someone who has ‘been there’ and recovered, or simply a community minded person who is perfectly healthy. “
According to secretary Broni Koebel caring is the only criteria for membership.
“We have guest speakers from time to time on matters relating to health,” Mrs Koebel said.
We are a group of ordinary people who are concerned for those who have a debilitating or life threatening illness.Carolyn Salter
“We believe that, whilst we cannot always change what comes to us, we can certainly decide how we deal with it. Afternoon tea after the meeting is when people can chat one on one if they wish or just catch up with each other.”
As well as moral support the group has quite a collection of nursing aids available for loan to the whole community.
“We originally started this service for palliative care patients to help them remain at home when very ill, but we are now pleased to lend equipment for those who have had operations or accidents and just need items for a short term loan,” said Sue Reardon who administers this equipment lending service.
“The collection of items includes hospital beds, shower chairs, toilet raisers, wheelchairs, walkers, crutches and so on.”
“We also have a library of books, CDs, DVDs and pamphlets for free loan, which is housed at the Walcha Council Community Care rooms where we meet. We administer a fund for the community, for people who are ill and must be away from home for prolonged treatment.
“If people fit the criteria guidelines set by those who donate to the fund, we are able to give a small cash donation from the Walcha community.”
Mrs Salter said the Walcha Support Group relied on involvement from the service clubs, other clubs in the community and the community itself.
Without you, we would not know of people who are illCarolyn Salter
“Without you, we would not know of people who are ill, to whom we could perhaps send a greeting to let them know they are not alone, and that we are thinking of them,” she said.
The Walcha Support Group meets at the Walcha Council Community Care rooms on Middle St at 1.30pm on the last Thursday of the month. If you think you would like to join lease contact either Carolyn Salter or Broni Koebel.