Carinity has paid tribute to members of a community group which tirelessly fundraised to help Bundaberg seniors live better lives.
Over 27 years, the Friends of Kepnock Grove auxiliary group raised around $150,000 to support the residents of the Kepnock Grove aged care community, which has been operated by Carinity since 2013.
Money raised from fundraisers such as cake stalls, fashion parades and running canteens funded a chapel, air conditioning, pergola, animal farm visits and medical aids such as patient hoists and nursing beds.
Robotic therapy animals and a brain trainer computer, used to stimulate the memory and cognitive skills of older people with living dementia, were also funded by Friends of Kepnock Grove.
Sadly, the effects of COVID-19 on fundraising opportunities, an ageing member base, and the challenges of filling committee positions – a situation hampering many volunteer-run organisations – led to the group recently being dissolved.
The auxiliary group was established in 1994, two years after the integrated Kepnock Grove retirement village and aged care community opened. The Kepnock Grove board gave the auxiliary $100 “to start the ball rolling” for their fundraising.
Over the years, membership of the auxiliary included Kepnock Grove retirement village residents, family and friends of aged care residents, local church members and other supporters from the community.
Three women – Lyn Doyle, Edna Clitheroe and Jan Leahy – were members since Friends of Kepnock Grove’s inception and remained involved until this year. Lyn was the first secretary – and held the role when the group was wound up.
The Doyles worked at the Kepnock Grove nursing home – Lyn as an evening nurse and husband Frank as its inaugural groundsman – and moved into the adjacent retirement village three years ago.
Lyn said while it is disappointing that the auxiliary won’t continue, she admits it’s “nice to leave a legacy” for Bundaberg’s elderly.
“What motivated me was helping the residents and staff improve things at the aged care home and make their lives more enjoyable. We were always a happy band of people,” Lyn said.
Carinity Kepnock Grove Residential Manager, Jodie Little, said the auxiliary was a valued supporter whose contributions to improving the lives of Bundaberg’s elderly would be greatly missed.
“Thousands of residents who have lived with us have benefitted from the vision and dedication of Friends of Kepnock Grove. It is regrettable that the group is no more, however their selfless and hard-working members and fundraisers leave a special legacy,” Jodie said.
“Most of all, their contributions have helped our residents to live happy and comfortable lives and created cherished special memories and experiences for them, their families, our carers and staff. We gratefully appreciate this and are so thankful that people in the Bundaberg community care for our seniors as much as Carinity does.”