Volunteering champion retires after 17 years
Ninety-six-year-old Maria Filmer has retired after 17 years of volunteering for Wesley School for Seniors, a program that offers people over the age of 55 the opportunity to extend their skills and keep active through a variety of leisure, lifestyle and educational courses.
A former prima ballerina, who travelled the world performing in her youth, since 2000, Maria has used her dancing talent to choreograph gentle exercise classes for seniors. Twice a week Maria helps people strengthen their bodies through gentle exercise, while accompanied to music. The classes help seniors stay active and maintain their strength and wellbeing.
“It’s a wonderful gift to give your ability to other people,” said Maria.
“My favourite thing is to be able to come in every week and exercise for an hour. That’s the main thing, that’s what I’m here for, to help all the people, to show them how they can exercise.
"It’s nice to see the ladies being able to do exercises now that they could not do when they started."
At a special farewell on 29 June, Maria was honoured for her service to Wesley Mission and was presented with an appreciation award by Wesley Mission's Chief Operating Officer, Chris England. This is not the first time Maria has been recognised for volunteering. In 2015 Maria was awarded a Volunteer of the Year award in the seniors category.
Volunteers are vital to running and maintaining the services on offer at Wesley Mission. Find out more information about volunteering for Wesley Mission.