ECH Keep Connected

Truly at Home in the Garden

As an avid gardener, Sandra jumped at the opportunity to volunteer at the ECH Day Program in Henley Beach and combine her two passions of gardening and helping others.

Sandra started volunteering with ECH in May 2019, spending her Thursdays assisting ECH Social & Therapeutic Horticulturalist Dean Gaston in the gardening program, helping with anything from watering plants, to tending garden beds and connecting with clients through engaging activities.

“I love meeting new ECH clients and assisting them with gardening, as well as being able to give back to the community,” says Sandra, who often donates plants to the program.

Bringing her caring nature to the role, Sandra often lends an ear to clients who love to have a chat and make new friendships.

“Everyone has a different story to tell and it’s important to listen, so each person feels heard and supported,” says Sandra.

Sandra values the importance of making a difference in someone’s day, even if just to put a smile on their face.

“I take the time to get to know people as I believe it’s really important for them to feel special and to know they always have someone to talk to.”

Sandra has also been a huge help in adding new elements to the Day Program which enables clients to contribute and spark conversation through her ‘plant of the week’ initiative and inspirational quotes.

“I implemented the ‘plant of the week’ initiative, where I compile a fact sheet for members. It can be a great way to start conversations and also educate clients about plants.”

In an effort to help spread positivity this year, Sandra found a blackboard in the shape of a watering can.

Each week Sandra writes a new inspirational quote to help uplift people, which they love.

“I often ask clients to choose a quote for the week to write on the blackboard, so they have input too and feel included.”

ECH offers a range of unique volunteering options across a variety of areas including walking groups, art and craft, music and baking. For more information about volunteering opportunities, visit ech.asn.au or call 1300 275 324.