Friends of Simpkin House needs help

VOLUNTEERS: Cavell Jones and Shirley Austin. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

VOLUNTEERS: Cavell Jones and Shirley Austin. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

CAVELL Jones likens herself to Australian music legend John Farnham.

"I've retired and come back," Mrs Jones said.

"I retired for five minutes. That was all it lasted."

The 97-year-old Bendigo resident retired from Friends of Simpkin House in December after 15 years of service to the auxiliary.

But Mrs Jones is not quite ready to hand up the reins.

"I came back because there's been nobody to help them out and I couldn't possibly leave them without keeping things going," she said.

Mrs Jones said Friends of Simpkin House is desperately in need of some new blood.

"There must be any amount of people, sitting around thinking what can I do?

"Well, they could join Friends of Simpkin House."

A founding member of the auxiliary, Mrs Jones said she had a weak spot for Simpkin House.

"They do such a wonderful job," she said.

"When this place first opened my son had had brain damage through a car accident, it happened when he was 23, and no one wanted him.

"I took him home a while but I couldn't handle it.

"I'd been a widow and I had nine children and I still had kids at school.

"I couldn't have possibly managed if it hadn't been for Simpkin House."

Shirley Austin, 86, is also one of the original members of Friends of Simpkin House.

"Shirley does all the sewing," Mrs Jones said. "She sews and restores things."

Mrs Austin said volunteering was a great way to give back to the community.

"I started when my husband first came in here," she said.

"I spent a lot of time here from about 10am to 3pm, six days a week and I just sort of slotted into doing what I could to help."

If you are interested in joining Friends of Simpkin House email volunteers@bendigohealth.org.au or phone 5454 7690.

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