Regis Nedlands volunteer Lorna Steward is adamant that bringing a smile to the faces of seniors is the key to bringing joy into her own life – which is wise advice indeed on the eve of International Day of Happiness, a global celebration spearheaded by the United Nations which calls for joy to be given a greater priority in everyday life.
And this year’s theme – ‘Mindful, Grateful, Kind,’ which focuses on three simple steps which people can use at any time to give themselves a boost – is particularly close to Lorna’s heart given she credits her focus on volunteering and being there for others as the source of much happiness and contentment in her own life.
“My parents always volunteered in the community when I was growing up in Berkshire in England, and so I was brought up learning that helping other people was not only important and worthwhile, it was also a great source of personal satisfaction and joy,” explains Lorna, who immigrated to Australia with her family back in 1997 and now volunteers at Regis Nedlands to offer residents social support once a week.
“I’ve been a volunteer for various organisations, including St John’s Ambulance, Advocare and now Regis Nedlands, and have always felt that enriching other people’s lives brings me great purpose and pleasure, something that I think numerous studies over the years have also proven.”
As part of her voluntary work each week, Lorna will spend time with residents, having a chat over a cuppa, helping out with a crossword, reading a book to seniors or even just sitting in quiet contemplation with a senior.
Regis Nedlands General Manager, Sam Waldron, says Lorna’s commitment to helping enrich the lives of the seniors at the home was gratefully appreciated and that residents and staff were looking forward to acknowledging her contribution on the United Nations’ International Day of Happiness.
“International Day of Happiness reminds us that life is much better when we connect with and care about the people around us, something that our volunteer Lorna embodies and displays each week when she visits our residents,” says Mr Waldron.
“Our focus at our home is ensuring that our residents live enriched lives and continue to experience the things they love, as well as maintain strong social connections, and we are extremely grateful to Lorna for helping our team strengthen the opportunities residents have for social connection, laughter and contentment.”
The United Nation’s International Day of Happiness is celebrated annually on 20 March and is this year focused on creating a happier and kinder world together by encouraging people to adopt a simple, daily practice directed at being mindful, grateful and kind.