The team at Westfield Geelong dedicated some volunteering time to Gateways Support Services with great results for all involved.
The Geelong team spent some of their volunteer days supporting Gateways Support Services, which provide care and respite for people with disabilities.
Lauren Frew, Centre Manager at Westfield Geelong, tells us about their day: “We decided we really wanted to use our volunteer days to do something together that was good and meaningful for the community. Gateway Support Services have been our community partner for many years and are a well-known and respected charity in Geelong, so we decided to do something with them to maintain our relationship.
“Gateways Support Services provide a lot of different services, but one stream of what they do is housing for people with disabilities. We spent the day at two houses building garden beds, planting, painting walls, raking leaves and giving the gardens a general spruce up.
“In particular we were really quite taken with one of the houses that had four sisters in their fifties living together, who all had quite severe physical and mental disabilities. The sisters went out for the day and when they came back in the late afternoon, they were really excited to see what we’d done to the house and garden.
“The experience was really terrific. It was quite special and meaningful for the team to show the sisters what we had done and it warmed your heart to be able to go out and do something for people who really need and appreciate the help. I think we all walked away feeling very fulfilled.
“It also brought the team closer together by getting out of our comfort zones and literally getting our hands dirty. We tried to involve our wider asset team too. We have people who work in the Geelong office maybe just one day a week and it was great to spend the day with team members we don’t see all that often.
"I'd encourage everyone to use their volunteer days….the benefits are huge."
Lauren Frew, Westfield Geelong Centre Manager
“We’re all really fortunate that Scentre Group provides two volunteer days for each full time employee and I’d encourage everyone to use them because it’s easy to organise a day for your team and the benefits are huge, not just for the charity you choose to support but the team as well.”