Phil Bell is a very special member of Regis Griffith Cottage. In his role, he is responsible for creating smiles, fun and adventure for residents! At times, you’ll find Phil walking around the Home in fancy dress, surprising residents with a scenic bus tour, or cooking up a feast on the barbeque.

Phil is a much-loved volunteer at Regis Griffith. He joined the Griffith community in November 2020 and to this day, he’s maintained the spark, energy and dedication to make residents happy. Volunteers play an essential part in our residents’ quality of life by providing support for their well-being, promoting self-esteem and personal fulfillment through a social and creative environment.  In November 2021, Regis said thank you to Phil in a very big way. He was awarded Volunteer of the Year in the National Regis Care Awards for his outstanding contribution, service and commitment to residents and employees.

Phil wasn’t appointed the role in a regular way. Before commencing, he was already a regular face at Regis Griffith as he visited a friend weekly who was a resident in the Home. Through Phil’s regular visits, Lifestyle Coordinator, Kathleen Munday picked up on Phil’s enthusiastic nature, spark and ability to make everyone around him happy. And when Kathleen approached him about the position, she heard a resounding, yes.

“There is no normal day for me in the Home.  I just fit in with the resident’s daily activities or their choice of activities on the day.  Kathleen will often ring me and invite fellow volunteer Larry to help with theme days, happy hour or taking the residents out for scenic bus trips.

Phil focuses most of his time in the Home working with very special residents living with dementia. He also works directly with the male residents to encourage talking and physical activities. “Working with Dementia residents means every day is different so I can never get bored. I really enjoy everything from chatting with the residents, helping them to build a puzzle, playing bobs on the pool table, or dressing up as a clown and whatever the facility theme days may be. Being able to give back, knowing that just being there to chat or assist the Men’s Group build garden beds or garden shed is priceless and gives the residents purpose.”

Phil values the life experience, advice and impact every resident has on him. He recognises the value of supporting the aged care sector. “If you’re considering a career in the sector, give it a go and do it with an open mind. I started by visiting an old friend and now my weekly visits to Griffith Cottages to lend a helping hand is truly a highlight of my week.”

The moment Phil learnt of his nomination for Volunteer of the Year, he was blown away, and when his name was announced as winner, he couldn’t believe it. “I play just a small part within the aged care facility and was very humbled by the Griffith team for nominating me.”

Phil watched the online Awards with fellow volunteer and good friend, Larry, along with the residents and employees of Regis Griffith. The Home was abuzz with electricity and thunderous applaud as everyone heard Phil ‘s name announced. This month, the Home will celebrate with Phil in a special way as COVID restrictions have now eased.

Here is the National Regis Care Awards nomination for Phil
Phil Bell has a huge heart, is always himself, has thick skin and an ever-ready smile! He has volunteered at Regis Sandgate for 18-months and has an astounding impact with the residents. Phil visits the Home weekly to assist with activities for men which can be general conversation, playing a game of bobs, billiards or simply working in the gardens. He also arranged a regular one-hour mystery bus trip by asking a friend who has a bus license to volunteer. Phil is always available to lend a helping hand with theme days or lighting up the BBQ. He also spends time with dementia residents, even though he has heard their stories a few times over. He is ready to listen to them and respects their journey. Phil often attends our concerts and gets residents to dance or encourages them to clap and get involved and often turns up in costume to add that extra smile. 

Keep up the incredible work Phil, we appreciate all that to do.

We will be featuring all our 2021 National Regis Care Award winners over January and February.