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Friendship, care and fun at the core of AbbVie volunteers’ #WeekOfPossibilities

4 August 2016 Wesley Mission news

AbbVie is an organisation that is known for making a difference: a biopharmaceutical company that tackles diseases where there is a significant need for better solutions. They make a remarkable impact on lives by creating new products and new ways to help people manage their health. So when AbbVie approached Wesley Mission about corporate volunteering, we jumped at the opportunity to work with people who share our mission to care for and inspire hope in others.

Over a week—the AbbVie #WeekOfPossibilities—more than 50 staff members took part in activities across five Wesley Mission sites to provide care and support to people living in our aged care facilities, children living with disability and people who are currently without a home.

We have a feeling AbbVie’s staffed enjoyed their Wesley Mission volunteering experience as much as we appreciated their support!

Because a home is more than a place to stay…
Along with their time and muscle power, AbbVie donated enough bedside tables and drawers to furnish three bedrooms at Wesley Children’s Respite in Dundas, which supports children with disabilities and their families and carers by providing regular away from home care.

The volunteers transformed the bedrooms with brightly coloured feature walls, creating a warm and welcoming home away from home for the children. And it looked like AbbVie’s staff had a bit of fun in the process too.

At Wesley Tebbutt Dundas, one of Wesley Mission’s aged care homes, AbbVie staff spent time with residents before rolling up their sleeves and constructing an aviary. The residents were so pleased with the final result that they presented the volunteers with a homemade gift of thanks.

Because friendships and connection matter…
In the dementia ward at Wesley Rayward Carlingford, AbbVie volunteers spent valuable time socialising with residents, treating some to a relaxing manicure. For those looking to sharpen their minds rather than their nails, the volunteers organised word and memory games.

Friendships and connecting socially with other people can have a major impact on our health and wellbeing: increasing our sense of belonging, reducing stress and boosting happiness, self-esteem and confidence. For older people living away from their families, it can be difficult to maintain friendships. So, when volunteers like AbbVie’s staff take time to visit our aged care homes, it makes a real difference to the people who live there.

Because community participation builds confidence…
Wesley Edward Eagar Lodge is our supported accommodation service in Surry Hills, where people without a place to call home are welcomed and supported as they face their challenges.

In the lead up to their #WeekOfPossibilities, AbbVie held a clothing drive, and with all the clothes that were donated, they organised a Wesley Open Wardrobe for the people living at Wesley Edward Eagar Lodge. The volunteers set up the dining hall to look like a market stall fit for Newtown, and provided people with tokens that they could exchange for clothing. For people who have been disconnected from society and unable to participate in community life—through activities like shopping that many of us take for granted—having the opportunity to interact with volunteers who help them choose and try on items, is empowering and a real confidence boost.

Because the secret to happiness is helping others…
And everybody should have the opportunity to support their community and contribute to causes they are passionate about. For Mags, who is a member in the Wesley LifeSkills program, following her passion meant raising funds for the Sydney Children’s Hospital.

AbbVie-corporate-volunteering-month-1

AbbVie volunteers and Mags’ fellow Wesley LifeSkills friends made Mags’ dream a reality when they raised almost $2000 by hosting a barbeque and sports day. AbbVie sponsored the barbeque and donated funds to pay for an instructor from CM Fitness & Health to host ball games and other activities, which were clearly enjoyed by all.

Because every life matters.

Volunteers like the staff of AbbVie truly embody the spirit of Wesley Mission’s mission to ‘Do all the good you can, because every life matters’. Volunteers are an integral part of the functioning of our local and global society, and without them Wesley Mission would simply not be able to continue supporting those most in need in our communities.

Volunteering is not just about giving, but living, and we love that we are able to provide an opportunity for organisations like AbbVie the opportunity to serve others and experience joy, fulfilment and, of course, a lot of fun!