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Shoalhaven winner of IRT Volunteer Award announced: Volunteer Week 2018

18 May 2018

To celebrate Volunteer Week 2018, IRT Group is rewarding its volunteers by launching its annual Volunteer Awards. The awards form part of IRT’s Volunteer Strategy, launched in December 2017, which aims to optimise the IRT volunteer experience through to 2020.

“Our 800 volunteers are an integral part of the IRT Group team and we are able to fulfil our mission through the continued support of both employees and volunteers,” said Toby Dawson, Age Matters Manager.

“IRT’s Volunteer Program, which includes the awards, is designed to ensure that IRT’s volunteers feel valued and rewarded. In the face of a declining trend in the number of people offering to volunteer across Australia, the awards program aims to attract and retain volunteers,” he said.

Award nominees were judged in terms of their contribution to the lives of IRT residents through improving their social networks, supporting them to overcome or ‘bounce back’ from a difficult situation and assisting them to access appropriate services. In addition, their volunteering efforts were measured in terms of:

• Sustainability: can the volunteering be maintained at a certain rate or level?
• Innovation: have they contributed to a better way of doing things?
• Significance: does the work provide a significant positive impact or is it very meaningful?

The winners in each of IRT’s six regions – four in NSW (Illawarra, Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and
Sydney), one in Queensland and one in the ACT – are announced this week.

The Shoalhaven winners are husband and wife team Jim and Jenny Cottle who provide transport for residents to help them socialise in the broader community and maintain their independence.

“Jim drives the care centre bus and Jenny provides support by assisting the passengers to navigate their way around shopping centres and clubs and help them on and off the bus,” Mr Dawson said.

“Jim and Jenny make it possible for residents to go attend events, luncheons and appointments, go shopping and enjoy scenic drives.”

“This dynamic duo has built friendships with our residents, and through that friendship they have provided them with ongoing physical and emotional support,” he said. “They are dedicated to the
needs of each individual. Nothing is ever too much trouble.”

For more information about volunteering with IRT Group contact Natalie Shipp, Volunteer
Coordinator on or call the Age Matters team 02 4221 6617

Media enquiries: Stephanie Whitelock 0427 188 512                                 General enquiries: 134 478

About IRT Group:
IRT Group is one of Australia’s largest community-owned seniors’ lifestyle and care providers. With almost 50 years’ experience and locations throughout NSW, the ACT and South East Queensland, we employ more than 2500 people and play a significant role in promoting seniors as dynamic, influential and valuable members of society.

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