Coffee n Chat - for Veterans
All the 'problems of the world' are 'resolved' over a coffee on the veranda of the Veterans Support Centre, on most weekdays (timing varies, but generally between 7am and 9am). It's a great way to start the day knowing you've solved a problem for the PM! If you are feeling active, there's lawns to mow, hedges to hedge, artillery pieces to clean, veranda rails to free of bird droppings, and so on … or just sit and chat. Ideal for building camaraderie and mateship.
We're ready to start a 'Coffee n Chat' on a Saturday morning, if we get some interest from Veterans. Possibly at 'Cassandra's on the Park' (131 Queen Street) or similar. Leave your name and phone number if this might be of interest to you.
Social Guild - for Veterans and partner
The St Marys RSL sub-Branch has a Social Guild which plans and conducts a variety of outings and event through the year. The easiest way to become aware of what's-on is to becomes a sub-Branch Member (it's FREE!) so that you can stay in touch with upcoming events. They conduct a raffle at each monthly meeting, organise a group trip to a city theatre or 'coach' trip, and of course the annual Christmas Party - all generally for Veterans and partners. Ideal for building camaraderie and mateship.
Hospital Visitations - for Veterans and partner
There's two 'wellbeing' sides to this ... being visited when in hospital or house-bound, or in this case, actually doing the visiting to those persons, by becoming a Wellbeing Support Officer. If you feel comfortable in helping to lift a hospital patient's spirits and give guidance as to where additional assistance might be found, then this team will prepare you for that role.
Our Wellbeing Support Officers operate from the Veterans' Support Centre and work tremendously hard to maintain a reputation for professionalism and care that is second to none in the State of NSW.
Our team (travelling in pairs at all times) visit all of the major hospitals in the far western suburbs of Sydney and the lower Blue Mountains and in fact as far as Katoomba. While COVID curtailed such hospital visits over recent years, we are now finding an increase in hospitals prepared to allow our visits.
Of course, as well as hospital visits, the team manage a number of Outreach calls to veterans who may be house-bound and in need of either just a visit to help keep their spirits up or help with getting assistance from the DVA and or Health Departments in the form of household fittings or RAP items such as walking frames etc.
Guitars for Veterans - for Veterans
Through very qualified trainers, Noro Music Therapy will provide an instrument and training to Veterans wishing to learn to play guitar or Ukulele. As confidence grows, students join a regular 'jam' session on Wednesdays at 9.00am. Great for skill & confidence building, camaraderie and mateship.
Monthly BBQ Breakfast - for Veterans and for partners
Usually on the last Thursday each month (except December), a free BBQ Breakfast is available on the 'station platform' at the Veterans Support Centre - served at 8.00am. A great time for mixing with like-minded; occasional brief info-presentations on topics of interest to veterans; ideal for building camaraderie and mateship.
Exercise Classes - for Veterans
Currently the Exercise Physiologists (EP) at Ripples St Marys offer to set an exercise program, where possible, to assist in treatment for a condition that has been accepted by Dept of Veterans Affairs (i.e. for which a White or Gold Card has been issued) and for which an exercise program would be beneficial. This will require an interview with the EP to determine suitability of an appropriate program. The exercise classes are generally conducted for one hour from 8.00am on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Occasionally, when the EP program may be unavailable, a 30-40 minute walk (at your own pace) around local streets is arranged from the Veterans Support Centre- no special criteria required for joining this alternate activity.
Walk n Talk - for Veterans for families
A 'social' activity for the family ... a monthly (2nd Saturday) walk on local footpaths from & back to the Veterans' Centre - choose your own distance - coffee n chat over provided Breakfast options at return (@ The Train). Great way for all the family to meet and interact with others.
Small Bus Day-Trips - one for veterans
Out of the Coffee n Chat gatherings, a day out for the 'boys' is occasionally organised to a place of agreed interest around or close to Sydney - varies from a weekday to a weekend day. The Council bus is hired but does have limited seating so it's a 'first-in' affair once a trip is planned.
Computer Classes - for Veteran and for partner
Training in the basic use/operation of a computer is available on Thursdays at 9.00am in the carriage at the Veterans Support Centre. If computer literacy is holding you back, the volunteer 'tutors' will work with you to raise your confidence and ability to understand the basics of the computer. For those interested to learn or improve their Photoshop skills, this is also available.
Merrie Widows - for partners of deceased Veterans
On the last Wednesday of each month, Widows and Widowers are encouraged to lunch, usually at the St Marys Diggers Club café, to share their story, their concerns and issues, and to help others who may be experiencing similar hurdles.
The Day Club provides an opportunity for any aged person in the vicinity to experience an entertaining and/or informative couple of hours outside their home in a group situation. The activity is conducted by Veterans and partners and other helpers as a community service to the local aged population. It operates at a function room in the grounds of Mamre House on Mamre Road St Clair from 9.30am on Wednesdays. On occasion, bus trips to a club or similar for lunch, is provided. If you have spare time on a Wednesday and would like to serve the community in this way, you will be welcomed in the group.
Packing Care Boxes - for Veterans
In March and October each year, we have provided a group of Veterans to travel to Randwick Barracks to assemble and fill Care Packages to be sent to our ADF deployed personnel around the world. The 'troops' receive the packs for ANZAC Day and at Christmas. It's a fun day out, but we work hard to complete the task under the watchful eyes of RSL Australia personnel.
Barefoot Bowls - for Veterans and for partners
Under tutelage from 'expert' bowlers, you'll soon pick up the basic skills of Lawn Bowls. You must wear appropriate flat footwear or go barefoot, however bowls will be available to use. This activity is conducted at 10.30am on the first Friday of the month at the St Marys Diggers Club. Great for skill & confidence building, camaraderie and mateship.
We offer our services to ALL SERVING and EX SERVING ADF personnel regardless of when or where they served - nor does it matter whether the person in fact served overseas or only in Australia; Regular or Reserve.
So if you, as a Veteran, or a Veteran you know, needs a helping hand, call us. We cannot promise to make everything all right, but we do promise to try. We can laugh with you, cry with you, or just talk with you. The one thing you will know from us, it will always be with you, not at you and not at your expense.
ALL OF OUR WELLBEING OFFICERS ARE UNPAID VOLUNTEERS. THERE IS NO COST FOR THEIR SERVICE BUT THERE MAY BE A COST FOR NOT USING THEIR SERVICE!