Welcome to Hunters Hill Ryde Community Services.




Iris & Ian

Meet Iris & Ian, a lovely couple in our Spanish Social Support Program for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. Iris is from Chile and Ian is Australian, they met in rehabilitation after major surgeries four years ago.    Even though Ian doesn't speak Spanish he decided to follow his partner and attend the program too. In this video Ian explains how beneficial it is to participate in the activities of the Spanish group as they help each other improving their communication skills in English and Spanish. It is also a way for the couple who live apart to spend time together and share common activities. 


Truly Human

HHRCS is pleased to introduce the poignant documentary, "Truly Human", which was created by one of our casual volunteers, Georgina Liu. This documentary features Megan Poole, Lyn Allen, and Marilyn Jones from our YADs Carers Support Program and Mary-Lou Carter, a well-known advocate for persons with disabilities.

The documentary provides an insight into the lives of four very different women who have dedicated themselves to the same cause - their adult children with intellectual disabilities. The four mothers share stories of their struggles to give their children a sense of independence, and the impact their children have had on their lives.

These caring experiences give us a better understanding of what it is like to be a carer, including all the risks and challenges such as isolation, anxiety and access to quality support services. From a service provider's perspective, these testimonials also deepen our understanding of how the needs of carers could be better met. The documentary captures the importance of access to respite, which allows the carer to have an anxiety free break from caring. It also captures the way in which carers have embraced their life of caring for their child and the impact this has had on their lives. The testimonials highlight the importance of being compassionate and accepting the wide variety of people that make up our community.


What A Difference A Volunteer Visitor Makes!

In mid 2012 Clare had had a recent spell in hospital and was not feeling too well. Clare's husband had recently moved into a nursing home and Clare found herself with large amounts of time at home.  Clare had a wealth of interesting stories and knowledge to share. In addition she had been a painter of some note, but had lost some of the motivation to paint.
Around the same time, Dee, one of our Community Visitor's Scheme volunteers, became available and said that she would be happy to do some home visiting too. Serendipity came into play, because Dee was also a painter.  So the HHRCS Volunteer Coordinator introduced Clare and Dee to one another and witnessed the enjoyment that sharing their interest in painting generated.
About 4 months after Dee commenced visiting, Clare was advised not to drive anymore. This meant that Clare was confined to home much more than previously and Dee's regular visits became even more valued, Clare describing Dee as "a very special lady".  This was not a one way street as Dee would often comment to us about how much she enjoys visiting Clare.
Later the coordinator went to visit Clare to see how she was going.  Clare told us that she will shortly be moving to be nearer her daughter and the facility that she will move into will also be able to accommodate her husband.  The decision to move from home and into aged care is seldom an easy one, but Clare has come to this conclusion with all the grace and charm that she displays in everything that she does.  Clare was adamant that without the support and confidence that Dee's visits and the interest that Dee had shown her she would not have been able to make this decision.
The way that Clare is handling this decision is truly impressive and when we conveyed her appreciation to Dee, Dee's response was" I just tried to give her some encouragement each time I visited".


Keeping social and active out and about

"Over two years ago our neighbour suggested we (my wife and I) join him on the Tuesday Hunters Hill Ryde Community Services Social Bus Outings where two buses pick up older people who still care for themselves independently and often live alone. The buses pick us up from all around the area and we have an enjoyable day out with morning tea and then lunch at a variety of club locations. Now that we cannot drive any distance these days it is a wonderful way of getting out and meeting people. The trips are very popular  as the two buses are always full.

My wife and I really look forward to the trip each week enjoying the conversation with people our age and who are bright and able to look after themselves. At morning tea, held in some picturesque park or look out, the talk ranges from television, golf, cars right through to poetry and opera. All this while enjoying homemade fruit cake and slices. Talk about our illnesses is all but banned by the group members. The lunch is several hours of socialising at the various clubs with a variety of meals including buffets with prawns. All an adventure carefully planned by the Coordinator and his generous volunteer drivers.

When my wife and I first came along for a try out the group was most accepting and by the third week we were well and truly part of the crowd, all enjoying a pleasant time together. This all goes to making our week far from dreary." Warwick, client attending the Social Bus Outings.

Photo of a group of older people relaing and drinking coffee outside

More than a meal: reconnecting socially and making friends

John is an 89 year old gentleman who lives alone. John had been a volunteer in his local area including the local Catholic school and time spent mowing lawns for those in need. John was socially active with his wife of many years.
John and his wife began receiving Meals on Wheels when shopping and cooking regularly became too difficult and they were unable to maintain a nutritious diet. After the death of his wife in 2014.

John became socially isolated and the volunteer delivering meals gave John social contact on a regular basis. John keenly waited at his gate for the volunteer who not only delivered his meals but also assisted him with safety issues at home.
In November 2015 John began attending the Day Centre where he was able to become part of a social group. John has developed friendships in the group where he is well received. He enjoys the opportunity to chat with his friends.
Attending Day Centre outings has enabled John to visit a variety of venues and locations that he had been missing out on as well as places he had never been to before.
John says his group days are a pleasure for him. Each week John attends a Tai Chi session at the Day Centre and says he has improved his balance. Tai Chi has also assisted him in his recovery from a fall prior to commencement. This socialisation and physical activity has lifted John's spirits and brought interest to his life.

Enabling Carers to Care

Sydney was a whole new world to Matt who moved from Melbourne to be closer to his family. He is a lively, engaging and charming 85 year old whose memory is not what it used to be.
Matt joined the HHRCS community through the Hunters Hill Ryde Men's Shed. Now he is involved in several weekly activities such as: Your Time, Volunteer Visiting and the Seniors Day Centre.
Matt's support has focused upon his individual attributes and especially those he has brought to the group. He is both a highly valuable member and contributor. 
The Volunteer Visitor listened to Matt's aspirations and supported him in his desire to sing with other seniors at our Seniors Day Centre. Matt also had a boat business and being around boats makes him feel relaxed and energised. Visiting a local marina has become an important part of his weekly routine.
Matt's daughter is his main carer. She receives information and support through the Carers Support Program. In her words, "the Aged Care area is daunting to navigate. Recently there have been many changes, which make it at least at this juncture more involved for those of us looking after family members. The staff at HHRCS are experienced professionals who lead, educate and light the way forward."


Let our clients speak for us !

This video shows three of our clients, Peter, Megan and Steve giving their own perspectives of HHRCS.  

Peter is a lovely gentlemean who goes to the Seniors Day Centre three days a week. Megan joined the Carers Support Program  over 10 years ago and she honestly speaks out on the value of joining the carers group. Steve who had a horrific accident when he was only 35 years of age attends the DisAbility Services where he loves the social outings, the laughter and the many activities such as lunches, Picnics, Parties, Bowling, Art, Sailing and Music.





How to make a difference in someone's life?

Carmen was 51 years of age when she suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. She had to re-learn walking, talking, eating and drinking. Carmen felt she had lost her physical abilities, independence and freedom. The brain injury made it very difficult for Carmen to complete even the simplest of tasks and to motivate herself to engage in daily activities.

When HHRCS met Carmen she described herself as being lonely, isolated and tired. We connected Carmen with a Volunteer Visitor who supported her in achieving her goals of sharing a conversation and being encouraged to complete daily activities such as making the bed and dishwashing. Carmen became enthusiastic about her volunteer with whom she completed and followed a support plan, which detailed what they would do and accomplish each time they met.

They started their time together with a few chores and then sat down with a cup of coffee to chat and relax. In time they ventured out, took walks and had morning teas at a nearby cafe. The volunteer assisted Carmen in doing exercises prescribed by her physiotherapist and gave Carmen hand massages.

With the support received Carmen realised that she was in control and could manage some of the housework that was overwhelming before. She is grateful that she found a friend that she is able to talk to and someone who understands her.




A Genuine Volunteer's Story

"In a world with over six billion people, one of the very last things one should be without is company and friendship.
I had the great pleasure of meeting Audrey four years ago. My mother is a volunteer of the Hunters Hill Ryde Community Services and after befriending a very charismatic Audrey, wished for me to meet her. Upon meeting her, we became instant friends.
I began visiting Audrey frequently; helping her with Christmas decorations, then came the beloved afternoon coffee, lunch and shopping sessions which we now share together whenever we get the chance.
Being a regular visitor is very simple; it only requires the skill of being a good friend. Although being a good friend often involves compromise, patience and sacrifice my relationship with Audrey is much different to any ordinary friendship.
Audrey is one of the only people I know who genuinely understand and value the gift of true friendship, and for this reason she is eternally grateful, for any small deed on my part, even a quick visit during the week. My friendship with Audrey is undemanding, free of complexity, and in all honesty, completely and consistently enjoyable. Perhaps this is because of the nature and circumstances that brought about our relationship; however I am much more inclined to believe that it has more to do with the person that Audrey is.
" Tereza, Volunteer Visitor with the Community Visitors Scheme



Nothing Is Impossible

Besides being such a wonderful volunteer in the Day Centre, Nalyn has done really well being selected for NSW in netball.

Nalyn has been playing netball since she was 10. Her first netball award was for "Her constant support of her team members". She has continued to improve her skills and recently tried out for the NSW state team for women with an intellectual disability. She was selected to represent NSW in the Marie Little OAM Shield held at Sydney Olympic Park on 20/21 August. Nalyn plays netball each Saturday at Meadowbank with West Ryde Rovers in the Eastwood Ryde competition.She is also a volunteer Development Officer with Netball NSW and coaches young children and children with disabilities at gala days and NetSetGO programs.

Well done Nalyn!


John's Story

John is an eighty one year-old gentleman who attends the Day Centre. He has complex health needs, including Parkinson's disease. John was isolating himself by choosing to stay at home and was facing further loss of independence in daily activities. John's wife supported him in his wish to attend the Day Centre in 2011. Since then John has made friendships and connections through this program. When unable to attend for periods of time due to poor health John stays in touch with the Day Centre and his friends via phone calls and emails. John enjoys quizzes, history, geography, the harbourside, walking, jokes, a yarn and driving to locations that he has chosen during Program and Support Planning. John's participation in planning his activities and choosing outings has enabled him to develop friendships, increased his interest and participation in the community  and social interaction.


Generosity Grows Generosity

Last Christmas HHRCS YAD's Carers group felt it a waste of money to buy and receive Kris Cringle. Instead they decided to  donate the money to someone in need. Once the group had heard about the financial struggles of a carer (who will remain anonymous), they decided to donate to her.
Upon receipt of this money the carer had this to say: "I couldn't believe people's generosity and kindness towards us, based on the fact that our son was facing a serious operation. My husband and I are really so thankful to every single one who contributed."
After some discussion, the couple  decided to use the money for physiotherapy sessions for their son.
Out of gratitude and a desire to say thank you this carer had been busy crocheting an item for each of the group members since early January until April. At the YAD's recent meeting they were presented with their gift, they were both delighted with the item and touched by the time and effort this carer went to in order to show her appreciation.



Art of Autism

Myoung Hee (Joy) Kim is a member of the Korean Cockatoo Carers Group and proud mother of son, Daniel Kim. Daniel, aged 28, was diagnosed with autism when very young. Through his mothers observation of her son's interest in painting and her determination to provide opportunities for Daniel to develop this skill, Daniel is now an accomplished artist, holding a number of exhibitions around Sydney. Daniel was recently commissioned to paint a portrait of Craig Meller, CEO of AMP Australia. Congratulations Daniel, well done Mum!



Pursuing Goals

Linda was unable to speak English and was limited to speaking Mandarin. As a result of the language difficulties, Linda was at risk of social isolation. Furthermore, she has been regarded as legally blind, and receives primary care from her husband, who is also her formal carer.

Linda is involved with two Social Support Programs since 2005; Social Support Gladesville and Volunteer Visiting. As well as providing Linda with practical and emotional support, the volunteer visitors who have been matched to Linda have assisted her with her English studies.Linda has a strong will and is determined to achieve her goals. Since her time in Australia, she has felt strongly about embracing Australian culture. HHRCS has assisted her greatly in achieving this goal, as we have provided her various supports to learn and to practice English. Since moving to Blandville Court in 2009, Linda has engaged with staff and other clients/residents. This has led to her involvement in teaching other Chinese residents some basic English skills, and starting her own classes in the community room!



Life Story by Steve Davis

HHRCS would like to share with you the story of Steve, Social Support ABI program client :
Steve was born on the 14th of July 1966 in Cooma .During Steve's childhood, he lived at Cooma until the age of 2, when he moved with his family to Khancoban. As a part of the Catholic faith, Steve was often accompanied by his parents and siblings to church on a Sunday. Steve studied at Talbingo primary school and then moved onto Killarney Heights High School. During his schooling, Steve most enjoyed studying maths and science but absolutely hated English. Steve then, after leaving high school, started studying for his future career path at Macquarie University. He began with a 3 year course on commerce and then went on to do an engineering course.
Tragically, 1 year into this course, Steve was involved in a horrific accident that has changed his life forever. The accident occurred 13 years ago when Steve was only 35 years of age. He was riding his push bike down the road as an innocent pedestrian, when a reckless p plate driver struck him on the corner of Ring and Forest Road. The heartless driver fled the scene, aware of what he or she had just done. Steve spent the next 3-4 months of his life in hospital, 1 of which he was in an induced coma for. His first words after awakening from his deep sleep of unknowingness were "Where's dad?" Steve then spent 6 long months in rehab.
He married a 20 year old Fiona at Our Lady of Good Council when he was 22. The wedding service had a big reception but Steve claims that the buck's night was bigger. Steve has 3 children.He says always look to your family and friends for truthfulness and trust, respect your family and friends and stay healthy.
Steve says his hobbies and interests are Partying, Painting, Sailing and singing. He also enjoys travel; he has been to Thailand, Fiji, Vanuatu, Canada, Queensland, Nelson Bay, Bega and Europe with his Parents.
Steve attends HHRCS- Social Support ABI (BIRDS) program on Saturdays where he loves the social outings, the laughter and the many Activities such as lunches, Picnics, Parties, Bowling, Art, Sailing and Music.



Men About Town

The University of Western Sydney's research established that men are not accessing Home and Community Care services.
Older men living at home who do not access these services are at risk of social isolation which can result in physical deterioration and depression.

HHRCS developed an option to meet the needs of men in the Hunters Hill and Ryde communities.
This program became known as Men About Town.

The Men About Town program engages frail men in the community through active outings to venues and activities that they would not normally visit or participate in.
This enables older men to develop and maintain:

  • Friendships
  • Wellbeing
  • Mobility
  • Independence

We would like to acknowledge and thank the Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club who sponsored the Men About Town program through the clubGrants scheme.





A Beautiful Friendship Story

Emma (volunteer) visits John (client) every Tuesdays through our Volunteer Visiting Program. They share their experience with us in this lovely video. Emma  and John are building a fantastatic friendship through their weekly meetings. 

  The objective of the Volunteer Visiting Program is to link a friendly visitor willing to be in regular contact with an isolated, house bound, elderly person or one with a disability. This enhances the quality of life of the client and help him/her enjoy life to its full potential. The visit provides opportunities for the sharing of interests and support.



A Worthwhile Circle

HHRCS would like to highlight the wonderful work of 'Wrap With Love'. The Gladesville Social Support Knitting Group of HHRCS has been involved with 'Wrap with Love' for the last 6 years. The Knitting Group of Blandville Court is comprised of 15 women from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds sharing their passion for knitting and charitable work. In last last two years, the group produced over 80 knitted blankets. Their blankets have found their ways where most needed...
Wrap with Love began in 1992 with Sonia Gidley-King, then aged 64, who was watching the television news reporting the civil war in Mozambique. The program showed poor malnourished people having to deal with temperatures between 0-45 degrees and Sonia wondered what she could do for these people. She had some spare wool in her cupboard and thought that many other people might have the same. If simple squares were knitted and sewn together these could become rugs to keep people warm. She set about enlisting help through her personal network of friends and alumni from Kincoppal School. Soon she had gathered a small group who completed some Wraps and, within a month, the first 38 Wraps were on their way to Mozambique.
From that small beginning the idea spread and in the past 20 years they have sent more than 323,000 Wraps to people in over 75 countries, including Australia.
If you wish to be a part of a great and enjoyable worthwhile circle, find out more information on the Wrap With Love website or the Social Support Gladesville.

Knitting Group of the Social Support Gladesville

Wrap With Love



Painting With Light

We would like to highlight the talent of the artist Rone Waugh. Passionate about China, he depicts his view of a modern China through his art. His work is characterized by using a method of utilizing multiple layers of plastic film illuminated by LED strips to breathe new life into old images.

Rone used to be volunteer teacher at Blandville Court for English classes organized by the Social Support Gladesville (SSG) Program of HHRCS. He is still client within the SSG. 

He exhibited his work in Beijing last October.

Congratulations Rone!                                                                                                  


The Benefits of Art & Craft Activities

A broad and enthusiastic section of the social housing community has participated for the last two years in the Glasdesville Social  Support Program of HHRCS. This program provides art & craft classes for public housing tenants from culturally and linguistically diverse background .The program was able to provide these classes thanks to the donations of the Gladesville RSL.

The tenants have participated to a video addressed to the Gladesville RSL where they show their wonderful craftworks. They also explain the benefits of this classes and the impact on their personal wellbeing and quality of life. 



Supporting Community Engagement

Sandra is a client in our social support program she has participated in many of our activities over the years.
Recently we talked with Sandra  about her goals. Whilst Sandra is busy looking after her home, she said she gets a bit sick of staying around her unit all the time.  Also with the support of one our volunteers Sandra has  been learning to read this she says has made her feel more confident and now she would like to do something to help others.

Sandra now assists our community once a month as a runner with our Meals on Wheels service. Sandra says the best things about the job are meeting all the different people and helping them, and she also really loves getting out and about in her local community . 

Sandra has become a great asset to the team always bringing with her a wonderful smile, willing hands and great navigation skills.




Work Placement Story

Nicole is a 3rd year Social Work student at the University of Sydney and she is doing her work placement with HHRCS for 3 months. In this video, she explains why she is interested in working with HHRCS and what she is participating in. 

HHRCS is delighted to have her and hopes that this video will inspire more students.



Volunteer Visiting Program

Emma (volunteer) visits John (client) through our Volunteer Visiting Program. One day they had fish and chips for lunch. They saved the pips from the lemon and planted them in two pots and John waters them with TLC. The lemon pips have produced two healthy lemon plants. They've definitely got the green thumbs and great ideas.


Fig Tree Park Garden Bed

In conjunction with Hunters Hill Council, HHRCS staff and volunteers have taken on revitalising the raised garden bed in Fig Tree Park. Our vision is to create a sustainable crop producing garden that will maximise opportunities for the whole community to get involved.  We see the Fig Tree Park garden as a community hub where everyone can come to enjoy and share the produce, their skills and ideas as well as build new connections.

HHRCS Celebrates Seniors Week!

HHRCS Celebrates Seniors Week!
On Wednesday 13th March Hunters Hill Ryde Food services hosted a Seniors Lunch to celebrate Seniors Week in the Gladesville Community Centre. The tables were creatively decorated by Kaye Batten and her very talented friend Linda Galbraith in the HHRCS colours and palm leaves.
HHRCS would like to thank the following caterers who kindly donated food for the lunch. They were Roth Cuisine, BCS, Kuringai Food Services and My Chef. Clients were given a choice of snapper, corned silverside and chicken breast. The snapper was the most popular choice. Mains were followed by a lovely pavlova and fresh fruit salad. A complementary meal was sent home with each guest and a goodies bag of chocolate and a biscuit.
For entertainment Sandra Mollica from Food Services sang beautifully. Thank you to the Food Services Team Kaye, Sandra, Robin and the help from Kayes daughter Matilda for a very successful lunch.



Our objective is to raise awareness about the active aging concept of what makes people age successfully. We are collecting and publishing our clients and volunteers first hand experiences of being active, creative and passionate about life.  We believe that through sharing the stories of our Active Ageing Champions with our community, other people will have the opportunity of learn from their example, discovering ways of keeping themselves active, and participating in their communities despite age or level of wellness.

Hear what Mabel Patience and Tina Basile, our fist two Champions, have to say


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