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Volunteering is in Mary’s genes


To celebrate International Volunteer Day on 5 December 2022, we’d like to share a story about Southern Cross Care Volunteer, Mary Adams.

She is proud to volunteer at Southern Cross Care, and is particularly proud to continue volunteering in honour of her late mother (Olive Coombe).

Mary won the Volunteer Star at the Southern Stars Awards 2022 for her outstanding volunteering at West Beach Residential Care in Adelaide’s western suburbs.

In her many nominations it was clear West Beach staff appreciated how Mary hits the ground running when she comes to volunteer.

She was also nominated for ensuring everything is ready to go for the staff at residents during group exercises and activities, her good sense of humour and kind nature.

In an emotional acceptance speech, Mary thanked the inspiring residents and helpful staff at West Beach.

“Winning this award would not have been possible without the inspiration of all the residents at West Beach...all the lifestyle coordinators, and my strong desire to follow in my mother’s footsteps,” Mary said.

“I accompanied my Mum, Olive Coombe, to these very awards, several years ago when she herself was honoured with this award at the age of ninety.”

“The passion that I bring to my volunteering is driven by the friendships that I have with the residents and all that I do to the very best of my ability wouldn’t be anywhere near as much fun or as deeply satisfying without their love and support.”

There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when Mary vowed to continue her efforts to make residents laugh out loud, to be in the moment, and enjoy the activities they participate in together.

If you want to volunteer with Southern Cross Care, apply online at