Christmas arrived a little early for elderly residents living at Braemar Presbyterian Care’s Cooinda home in Willagee last week, as volunteers at the not-for-profit facility took time to spread some festive cheer.

One group of well-wishers included long-term volunteers Deirdre Nicholson, Sharon Ockwell and Alida McCormick who coordinated and donated Christmas gifts for the residents, many of whom are in their 80s and 90s.

“We are a Christian group and we really enjoy making Christmas gifts for the residents at Braemar, to see their faces light up as they are handed out is just wonderful,” says Deirdre Nicholson, who along with her fellow volunteers coordinates around 10 additional locals to knit and sew the Christmas gifts throughout the year.

“This year, we made over 200 small bags for residents to carry things like their books and glasses in, and the pleasure on their faces was a joy to see when they received them.”

Braemar Presbyterian Care Chief Executive, Wayne Belcher, OAM, says Braemar’s residents benefit from the kindness of volunteers, especially at Christmas time.

“Some of our residents may not have the opportunity to spend the festive season with family or friends, so we’re really grateful to our wonderful community of volunteers who take the time to bring them some early Christmas cheer,” says Mr Belcher.

“We are fortunate to have many active volunteers who contribute to the lives of our residents throughout the year, whether that is via organising activities, knitting and sewing gifts or simply spending time with residents to reduce loneliness.

“Contributors such as Deirdre, Sharon, Alida and their group epitomize the joy that volunteers can bring to residents at aged care facilities, and for their valued contribution I thank them.”

Since 1952, Braemar Presbyterian Care has been offering care and friendship to the elderly in Western Australia. Braemar currently operates three residential care facilities, providing care and support to over 200 people. Braemar Care’s philosophy is one of Relationship Centred Care, which supports the relationships that exist and develop between staff, volunteers, residents and their families.