If you have attended any community event or group get together then you would have seen Pauline Abrahams at some stage. A busy bee involved in most groups helping older members of our community, we chat with Pauline about her volunteer work.
What bought you to Raglan?
I sold a life style block and avocado orchard after my husband died eight years ago and came to Raglan to live near my daughter and grandchildren.
What are three things that you appreciate about Raglan?
I have always lived by the sea. I was born in a North Sea fishing town in the UK and emigrated to New Zealand over forty years ago.
In Raglan I was inspired by the work of Extreme Zero Waste, and the other community environmental groups. As a stall holder at the creative market for many years supplying Raglan with avocados and demonstrating encaustic wax art, I was already familiar with the small town community atmosphere and its friendly people.
Tell us about some of the community groups that you are involved with?
It began with the Lions Opportunity Shop, and then Care and Craft and Senior Citizens. Next the Disability Support Group needed a secretary and l volunteered, it was the best thing I ever did! I had an insight of what was needed for the elderly in Raglan. Social media was becoming the main source of communication and many seniors were missing out on what was going on in Raglan.
I continued the pamphlet called ‘Senior Connect’ launched at the Connect Festival 2016 and began a column Health in your Hands. My appreciation must go to the Raglan Hospital and Rest Home for sponsoring the articles.
Jake who volunteers for The Senior Technology Group every Thursday was invaluable in helping me keep up my computer skills, while a team of volunteers proof read the articles. After writing a Column for the Mercury Bay Sun for 10 years without the aid of computers or ‘spell check’, this time round it was much easier. Maki from the Chronicle also gave me lots of encouragement.
Mike and Lara from the Raglan Community House have also helped to make it possible to have a Senior Gathering on a Saturday Morning
Was there something that inspired or motivated you to start actively volunteering in our community?
Having been a caregiver for my husband for seven years and seeing the challenges other family members have faced looking after elderly relatives, I had an insight as to what challenges faced our aging population, especially elderly caregivers. My Mum is 99 and has memory loss so this is an area I am particularly interested in, especially prevention.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
Being a part of the volunteer community and meeting other like minded people. I have become aware of the many volunteers, especially amongst the elderly, and have been inspired by their dedication.
Tell us about some of the things that you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I like Gardening and take my surplus produce to the Crop Swap. I am an artist and create pictures in Encaustic Wax. I enjoy different crafts and recording my family history, song writing,singing and dancing, the latter made possible thanks to Belinda and her Nia Dance Group. I was a teacher for 40 years so I love to share what I have learned. Having studied Kinesiolgy and Natural Therapy, and I love to help people develop skills to stay healthy. Timebank has given me this opportunity, and also an opening to learned new ideas. Above all I love spending time with my family and friends and walking the beach.
Is there anybody that you would like to recognise for their actions volunteering in the Raglan Community?
Phyllis McEldowney has been my inspiration over the last eight years and has kept many of the senior groups going for over thirty years. Having cared for three elderly relatives, she remains active and cheerful and still dedicated to the Senior Groups.