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News & Events
Steph finds connections through writing
May 28, 2020
Give a job to a busy person and it gets done is a well-known adage and nothing is truer than when it comes to volunteer Steph Deague-Hall.
The 21-year-old has been a familiar face around Liscombe House since 2016 when she started volunteering with her dog, Daisy. She initially volunteered in the art therapy program in the Currie Wing before helping physiotherapists with exercise programs as part of her university course placements.
“I love volunteering and being around older people,” Steph said. Which is why when she was given the chance to become a pen pal, she jumped at the chance. For Steph, writing and drawing are a way of life. She is a self- published illustrator working alongside her mother to create children’s books about animals and people who overcome challenges.
Through OCAV’s Keeping in Touch program, Steph has been matched with Isabel Martin, who lives at Leith Park. The pen pal pair have much in common: Steph works as a personal carer associate with another organisation every Friday helping and encouraging clients with their daily tasks, while 82 -year-old Isabel is a former nurse and spent four years with the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps. Today Isabel is full-time carer for her husband and once the pandemic is over, hopes to return to volunteering in Liscombe House’s chapel.
The two also have a penchant for bright colours – Steph loves pink while Isabel is a devotee of red. Spicy food is also a drawcard – the popular Indian butter chicken is a favourite of Steph’s while Isabel is more attuned to Thai food.
“We have exchanged letters a few times now, and I am thoroughly enjoying learning more about Isabel and the many things that we have in common,” Steph said.
When she is not drawing and writing, she spends time making films, dancing, singing and is involved with the Nillumbik Youth theatre in musical theatre. She is currently rehearsing for the Queen musical We Will Rock You.
“Life is never dull,” Steph said.
“I am really looking forward to meeting with Isabel once the virus is controlled and introducing her to Daisy and getting to know her better.”
Diversional therapist Adrian Onofrio couldn’t be happier that some lucky timing led him to Liscombe House, OCAV’s aged care facility. “This job is about working with people and I know that each day I might make a difference to just one person.