Say Hi to Denise, a long-term team member, volunteer and ‘jack of all trades’ at Laidley Neighbourhood Centre, and this week’s Local Community Hero!

Denise started her journey with Laidley Neighbourhood Centre back in 2016, and after retiring briefly in 2021, she decided she couldn’t stay away and came right back. She returned at a particularly intense time for the Laidley community and has been at the centre helping people throughout the floods and Covid lockdowns. Denise spoke of her experiences and what drives her to continue volunteering.

“Once, this fellow came in with his two children. The first time he came in he ended up leaving in an ambulance because he was so dehydrated and stressed just trying to keep his children. He was homeless, so we looked after him and got him into a crisis home. After about 3 months he had his own place and he looked well. It’s just really rewarding to see these transformations. It does take a while, but we’re with people all the way and we make sure to give them the support they want, so they know they’re not on their own.”

Whether it’s helping with Centrelink support, flood recovery, emergency relief or reception, you’ll find Denise at the Laidley Neighbourhood Centre ready to lend a hand to anyone who walks in the door.

This week (May 16 – 22) is National Volunteer Week, a time to celebrate people like Denise who give their time and energy to help those in need. This year, the theme for National Volunteer Week is ‘Better Together’, words that are core to the work of every Neighbourhood and Community Centre (NCC) across Queensland. NCC’s are the hub and life of so many communities, providing support and bringing people from all walks of life together, and would not exist without the dedication and work of their volunteers.

Written by: Taylor Bast

Published: 20 May, 2022