Come visit a place they call home

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Come visit a place they call home

July 25, 2019

Dorothy Clayton hopes people will feel a sense of home when they visit her unit as part of Braeside Park’s 150th anniversary open day on Saturday 12 October.

She has felt very much ‘at home’ since she moved into OCAV’s Berwick village nine years ago after the death of her husband, Peter. Now, Dorothy, the village’s volunteer pastoral care worker, tries to ensure that others also feel a sense of belonging in the village.

“It’s a lovely place to live and there are lovely people living around me. It’s the sort of place where you can live your own life, but still know that you are surrounded by supportive people and there is always someone to help you when you need it,” Dorothy said.

Dorothy’s decision to volunteer as the village pastoral care worker came after half a lifetime in that work alongside her husband. The couple were Church ministers in Missouri and Seattle in the US, England and Australia for decades. Much of Dorothy’s work involved pastoral care of her church community, which she relished.

“It’s about listening to people when they are not well or feel troubled and supporting them in any way possible. That person also knows that they can trust you completely. It’s the same as what I do here in the village. Just listen and try to support people when they have troubles, but we don’t encroach on each other,” Dorothy said. People in the village are encouraged to phone or call on Dorothy when they need support.

Dorothy, 77, has thrown herself into village life and is currently on the Social Committee, organising events for residents. It was during a volunteers gathering last year that OCAV called for anyone interested in doing pastoral care in the village. Dorothy felt it was an opportunity to formalise what she had been doing since she moved in.

As well as her interests and pastoral work in the village Dorothy is very involved in the Narre Warren Baptist Church. Her faith remains an important and nourishing part of her life.

Dorothy is looking forward to the open day and to sharing her Braeside Park life with others. Her cottage had been totally refurbished when she moved in and she loves being surrounded by her books.

“My favourite room is the sitting room where the winter sun streams in and I sit and read when I can,” she said. “It’s such a lovely place to be.”

Bookings  for house tours are essential: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=539142&

Lyn and Keith Geer moved to Leith Park because OCAV offers all the levels of care they might require down the track. “We thought it was a good time to make the move, while we are both still fit."

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