National Volunteer Week celebrates 30 years this month with the theme of ‘making a world of difference’. As we take the opportunity to recognise our volunteers’ generous contributions, one of the University’s staff-turned-volunteers Peggy Rowe reflects on her time with the Friends of Urrbrae House and the Freemasons Foundation.
Despite retiring as Friends of Urrbrae House Secretary in 2013, Peggy Rowe continued her connection with the University of Adelaide through dual volunteering roles at both Urrbrae House and the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health.
“When I was working at Urrbrae House I was, amongst other things, volunteer coordinator,” said Peggy.
“I was also very involved with the set up and early functioning of the University Volunteer Committee, so it seemed a good idea to check out the website after I retired and felt in need of more things to do.”
“Through that, I started working with Freemasons Foundation but I don’t think I ever stopped being involved with the Friends of Urrbrae House,” she said.
At the Friends of Urrbrae House, Peggy plays an active role in promoting the historic precinct. In addition to looking after membership records, she does publicity for the Urrbrae House twilight concerts, takes bookings and collects payment on the night.
At the Freemasons Foundation, her role is varied and includes data entry, mail outs and contacting participants in the Freemasons Foundation Health Survey.
Peggy finds commonality between her distinct roles through a shared sense of community.
“The things I love [about volunteering] are pretty much the same in both areas, it really comes down to the people,” she said.
“The people who come to the concerts at Urrbrae House, most of whom are very appreciative that they are able to attend the concerts in such a beautiful venue; the other inspirational volunteers and staff at both areas; and the hugely talented people I meet, the concert musicians at Urrbrae House and the scientists at Freemasons Foundation, make me feel very privileged to be doing small things to help.”
“All of these people have taught me so much. I really think, that for me at least, volunteering has given more than it receives.”
Find out more about volunteering with the University of Adelaide here.
Find out more about Friends of Urrbrae House here.
Find out more about the Freemasons Foundation here.