Volunteer profile: Merryn

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How long have you been volunteering for Children First Foundation?

I have been volunteering for Children First for 17 years. My husband and I were invited along to a Children First Foundation Ball many years ago. It was only when we got there that I realised that the charity founder, Moira Kelly, was the same Moira Kelly I had worked with in my very first job as a Mothercraft Nurse. Moira persuaded me to come along and get involved, and many years later, I’m still loving being involved.

The thing that most stood out volunteering for Children First Foundation, over other charities was how personal and welcoming the charity was to all, allowing every volunteer to bring their skillset and strengths to the events committee.

Merryn with other members of the Events Committee (L- R Kim, Lesley, Fiona and Merryn)

Tell us about your role in the Events Committee?

My role on the events committee has changed somewhat over the years but has mainly been centred around the helping to plan, brainstorm and see events such as the annual Gala Ball and The Sparkling Lunch come to fruition.

When my husband and I started volunteering at Children First Foundation, Warren was instrumental in setting up the stages, lighting, drapes and we had staff from our production company run much of the light shows and entertainment requirements on the night of the Ball. I was mainly involved with the dressing of the room and tables. Now I mainly assist with any event organising I make the floral centrepieces for the tables, event foyers and MC gifts.

Away from the events committee, I was lucky enough to be able to help by driving one of the children to school for just over a year and got to know her really well over that time. I have a garden Open in the Open Garden Scheme and have donated proceeds of the Open Garden Days to Children First Foundation over many years.

Beautiful flower arrangements for our events

What do you enjoy most about volunteering for Children First Foundation?

I truly value the relationships I have built with others on the events committee, and with the staff involved with this wonderful organisation. I delight in seeing the transformation in so many children’s lives. Each child’s story is so personal and touching in its own right, with so many children showing strength and determination beyond their years.

I love meeting the children at events, hearing their stories and following their journey. Being kept up to date with their stories, even after they have returned home is something, I feel that sets this Foundation apart.

Tell us a little bit about yourself…..

Outside of Children First Foundation, I am a full-time gardener, part-time florist, and have varied groups visit the garden by appointment, throughout the year. We have a busy life in running a Production Company, with stages and seating built Australia wide for many concerts, TV, and events. We have two children, a fashion designer, and a photographer and a gorgeous golden retriever to round out our family.

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