For many people, retirement is a time to relax and enjoy the fruits of their labour. But for some, like Peter Fitzgerald, it is also a time to give back to the community and make a difference in the lives of others. Peter is one of the many volunteers who are part of the St John Ambulance Tasmania Community Care program, which provides transport and companionship services to people who are elderly, isolated, or have a disability.
Peter has been volunteering with St John Community Care for 12 years, but his history with St John goes back much further. In fact, his connection with the organisation traces all the way back to 1960 when, following in the footsteps of his grandfather who was a member of St John, he joined as a bright-eyed Cadet.
“I always admired my grandfather’s dedication to the community and to St John Ambulance, in fact, one of my earliest memories of my grandfather is in his St John uniform,” Peter said.
When Peter retired from his career as a taxi driver, he wanted to find a way to continue his grandfather’s legacy and use his skills and experience to help others. He contacted St John and found out about the Community Care program, which matched his interests perfectly.
“I love meeting new people and driving, so this was ideal for me. I get to take people to their appointments, shopping, social outings or just have a chat with them. It’s very rewarding and enjoyable,” he said.
“I’m not someone who can just sit around doing nothing. I like to keep busy and active. Volunteering also keeps my wife happy by getting me out of the house and out of her hair!” he joked.
When asked what drives him to continue volunteering, Peter’s response is simple yet profound:
“One day I know I will be in a position of needing help, and I hope someone will be there for me. I believe that what you give, you get back. It’s important to support each other and look after our community,” he said.
St John Ambulance Tasmania’s Community Care program is a vital service that provides a lifeline to those in need within the community. The program focuses on helping individuals with limited mobility gain access to essential services, medical appointments, and social engagements.
Peter is one of the many volunteers who make the St John Community Care program possible. However, with an ever-growing demand for services and an expanding elderly population, St John Ambulance Tasmania needs more dedicated souls like Peter to step forward and lend a helping hand.
St John Community Care program is looking for additional volunteers to help with driving and shopping.
If you would like more information on this service or to become a volunteer please email [email protected] or call 1300 360 455.