Sunday Territorian 15 Sep 2013
Sunday Territorian; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
Nationwide News Pty. Limited
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Nationwide News Pty. Limited
www.sundayterritorian.com.au Sunday, September 15, 2013. Sunday Territorian. 23 P U B : NTNE-WS-DA-TE:15-SGE:23 CO-LO-R: C-M Y-K P H O T O G R A P H Y : A D A M T A Y L O R , K R IS T I M IL L E R bodyandsoul.com.aub BODY +SOUL Find ways to boost your wellbeing at bodyandsoul. com.au/health My wife, Carol, died in 2003. She passed away only seven months after being diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus. Wed been married for 30 years and she was a top woman. I really struggled without her in my life. I became depressed, sad, lonely and unsociable. I started volunteering at the NSW Cancer Council not long after she died. I volunteer one day a week as the gofer, replenishing the tea, coffee and biscuits in the offi ce and doing any other tasks that are required. Theyre a wonderful team at the Cancer Council, so friendly and inclusive. After Carol passed away, I was struggling with my bereavement. I knew there would be happy faces to see me at the offi ce, and that gave me a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Knowing people cared about me made a huge difference in my life and helped considerably with my depression. I feel great knowing that Im helping someone else. The way I see it, the volunteer work I do saves a wage, and that money can be used to look for a cure for cancer. Ive been volunteering for nine years now, and will continue for as long as Im physically able. Is volunteering the gi that keeps on giving? Jessica Stead speaks to three people whove found personal healing through helping others I was working as a fi rst-aid trainer four years ago when I had an accident and sustained a brain injury. My life totally changed. Im now unable to work or drive and I have memory loss and diffi culty processing information. After the accident I went through a grieving process and became very depressed. As part of my rehabilitation, my occupational therapist recommended I start volunteering. I began by repotting plants at my local nursery before volunteering with the Royal National Park in Sydneys south. I help with track maintenance, bush regeneration and water sampling. I needed to challenge myself mentally, so I also began volunteering through my local community centre as a homework tutor for refugee and migrant young people. Volunteering gave me a reason to get out of the house and socialise again. Ive met so many great people and made new friendships. Most importantly, Im being productive again. Volunteering has helped greatly with my depression and self-confi dence; its helped me live again. My interest in learning has also been reinvigorated and Im looking at training as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher. I now focus on what I can do, not on what I cant! I was 41 when I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), an illness that seriously impacted my life. I was unable to continue my career as a nurse and midwife and could no longer engage in academic pursuits, exercise or attend social gatherings. My world had shrunk and I felt lost, yet I still wanted to care for others. I was inspired to try volunteering after speaking to a lady who was helping at Calvary Health Care in Sydney. I began visiting palliative care patients in their homes, providing friendship, a chat and foot massages. By witnessing the far greater challenges that others faced daily, I found a renewed sense of appreciation regarding my own life. Helping them took my mind off my own pain, fatigue and feelings of loss. I enjoyed knowing I was making a small difference in their lives, and I always went home with a smile on my face. Volunteering helped me feel healthier and happier. Ive since recovered from CFS and am now a trained energy healer. I continue volunteering at Calvary, offering energy healing sessions to cancer patients, their carers and the staff. Volunteering enriches my life. Ive met so many wonderful people who inspire me to live the best life I can. VOLUNTEER WORK HELPED US LOVE LIFE AGAIN Volunteering at a garden nursery was the first step in helping Graham Scott feel valued after a brain injury Kevin York has volunteered at NSW Cancer Council since his wife died of cancer nine years ago A BRAIN INJURY LEFT ME JOBLESS BUT NOW I FEEL PRODUCTIVE Graham Scott, 57 AFTER MY WIFE DIED, VOLUNTEERING GAVE ME A REASON TO GET OUT OF BED Kevin York, 74 VISITING SICK PATIENTS HELPED ME COPE WITH CHRONIC FATIGUE AND LOVE LIFE AGAIN Sue Malliate, 52 Sue Malliate found that visiting palliative care patients helped her cope with her own illness VOLUNTEERS ARE HAPPIER AND HEALTHIER, RESEARCH SHOWS In 2012, the State of Volunteering in Australia report outlined the major psychological benefi ts of volunteering. It found the practice increased an individuals sense of self worth, their communication skills and social networks, and reduced their feelings of isolation. Psychologist Kerry Driscoll agrees with the fi ndings. Volunteering helps people gain a new appreciation and outlook on their life, and the life of others, Driscoll says. Research has also shown that volunteering is as good for the body as it is for the mind. Canadian research found the social interaction involved in volunteering reduced a persons heart rate and blood pressure, while also increasing endorphin production and boosting the function of the immune and nervous systems. US research showed that people who volunteer have lower rates of depression and lower mortality rates than those who dont. Is volunteer three peopl Volunt at a ga nursery first step Graham S valued brain A BRAIN INJURY LEFT ME JOBLES body+soul www.bodyandsoul.com.au sundayterritorian.com.au SUNDAY LIFESTYLE
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