Volunteers who give a little to change a lot

Volunteers make a huge difference at Silver Chain, including Lucia, who has been giving her time as a cook at the Fremantle Social Centre for an amazing 27 years.

“I have been coming to the Fremantle Social Centre for a long time,” she said. “I first heard about it through a good friend – she was a volunteer and a beautiful lady – and since then I have kept it going.

"I come once every two weeks, and I really enjoy it, I really enjoy cooking and meeting the other people here – it’s a very friendly community.

"I like to do something that helps the people who come here.”

Moving to Australia from Sicily in 1962, Lucia has raised her family here and now has 10 grandchildren. In addition to volunteering at the social centre, she also volunteers at the Italo-Australian Welfare.

Social Centre Care Aid, Jeannie, says Lucia is a blessing. “She doesn’t just cook, she’s so friendly with all the clients”, said Jeannie.

“Many of our clients who come and visit are Italian so Lucia helps with the interpreting if we need it, and her wonderful authentic cooking really helps add to the homelike environment of the centre.“

Lucia says she enjoys cooking whatever is on the menu, but does admit that her minestrone is quite popular.

“When people say they like my cooking, it makes me feel really proud,” she says. “I would miss this place if I didn’t come.”