Last Monday Kawana Companions celebrated its 30th year of providing social support and fun to the Sunshine Coast’s seniors.
The Companions celebrated over morning tea followed by a special anniversary lunch provided by Meals on Wheels. True to Companions tradition, the morning was filled with games and entertainment, to the enjoyment of all.
Het and Bruce Warrell, Companion’s regular volunteer organisers, were joined for the day by esteemed alumni who helped create and run the group. Together, they spoke of the importance of Companions and shared fond memories of its evolution.
But what has made Companions so successful over the years? ‘The popularity of Companions comes from it being known to be a very happy club with plenty of good chat prior to it starting each week’, Said Bruce Warrell, the chairman of ComLink’s board of directors and Companion’s volunteer of many years.
And for a seniors social group, chit chat is what it’s all about.
‘The popularity of Companions comes from it being known to be a very happy club with plenty of good chat prior to it starting each week.’
Kawana Companions was created from Home and Community Care Funding (HACC) in 1987, which was offered to start a support group for transport to medical appointments, shopping and social outings and a day respite centre.
In October of the same year, the day respite centre began as ‘Kawana Companions’ and was held at the Kawana Ambulance Centre until it moved to its permanent home at Kawana Community Hall, two years later.
‘Companions began with a small gathering of approximately nine clients to start with, it is still flourishing today, and now 99 would be a slow day’, Said Jean Hughes, one of the members of the welfare council who helped establish the group three decades ago.
In fact, over 130 guests attended the day, including the member for Fisher, Andrew Wallace.
While no one can see the future, we see Companion’s following the same golden formula that got it to where it is today. ‘If you had to ask me what will be different in ten years, it would be a push towards more of a wellness focus’, said Het Warrell.
‘Historically Companions set out to address social isolation in the community. Now, we can look at how we can enhance the lives of seniors’.
With change around the corner, ComLink looks forward to the new ideas that have always come from Companions wonderful volunteer base.