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Betty's boundless volunteer work

At 90 years of age, Betty Fairclough is an example of a selfless individual who has given nearly 30 years of service to older people and the wider Western Australia community.
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Juniper volunteer, Betty Fairclough, is an example of a selfless individual who has given nearly 30 years of service to older people.

Presented with the Lifetime Contribution to Volunteering award at the prestigious 2015 Volunteering Awards, Mrs Fairclough's work has largely benefited Juniper, a leading Western Australia aged care and community services provider that has supported older people for more than 65 years.

Vaughan Harding, Juniper chief executive, says Mrs Fairclough, a resident at the Juniper Rowethorpe retirement community in Bentley, has made a difference to countless people’s lives, especially among many elderly people who need assistance to enjoy a more active and engaged life.

Mrs Fairclough first volunteered with Juniper as early as 1988 when she was a volunteer caretaker/manager at Fraser House, then a retirement living community for more than 70 older people in South Perth.

Immediately, she began making a difference, building lasting relationships and helping individuals enjoy a better life. Examples of her volunteerism included organising, for many years, a home delivered meal service for residents at Fraser House and Juniper Rowethorpe village in Bentley.

An important and sustained contribution was her interaction and support for residents that included assisting with appointments and shopping trips, running errands and helping older people maintain connections with family and friends.

Mrs Fairclough was totally focused on helping and working to get the best for everybody,” Mr Harding says.

“Her unpaid contribution to the community has included thousands of hours’ work - in addition to fundraising thousands of dollars for bushfire, cancer and other charitable causes - she worked hard organising fashion parades, fetes and holiday trips for residents.”

Moving to Juniper Rowethorpe with late husband Frank in 2003, Mrs Fairclough continued her volunteer work, welcoming people to the village, organising many events and fundraisers, assisting in the coffee lounge and working with the residents’ delegates committee.

She was also instrumental in creating links between the Juniper Rowethorpe community and the then newly-opened Boronia Pre-Release Centre for Women.

Her efforts broke down barriers and created lasting links between the women and seniors, through morning teas, lunches, and regular concerts featuring the Boronia Girls’ Choir.

While Mrs Fairclough retired from active volunteering earlier this year, she was a driving force in organising Juniper Rowethorpe’s centenary ANZAC services in April.

There are more than 400 people volunteering for Juniper throughout the state. For more volunteering information, contact Tim Law, Juniper volunteer coordinator on (08) 9240 0313 or email volunteering@juniper.org.au.

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