PASSIONATE ABOUT HELPING: Chloe Bess, 12, winner of Northern Rivers student Volunteer of the Year.
PASSIONATE ABOUT HELPING: Chloe Bess, 12, winner of Northern Rivers student Volunteer of the Year. Adam Hourigan

Young Chloe makes her mark at aged care home

CHLOE Bess is just 12 years old, but she’s already taken out the Northern Rivers Student Volunteer of the Year Award for her contributions to Bupa in Banora Point.

Chloe, a Tugun resident, has been volunteering at Bupa Aged Care Home in Banora Point since last Christmas holidays.

She first went along one day with her mum, Onica, who works as a nurse, volunteer co-ordinator and activity officer at the home.

Having loved it so much, Chloe wanted to keep going back.

“I help in the kitchen, I play bingo, I help in the dining room, and I help water the plants,” Chloe said.

“Mum took me one day and I liked it.”

Chloe said she would be spending more time there in the school holidays.

She also volunteers at Bupa on some public holidays and certain evenings.

She said she enjoyed volunteering her time there.

“I like spending time with the residents and helping them,” she said.

Chloe said she was excited to find out she’d won the award.

Her mum, Onica Bess, said she was extremely proud of Chloe’s achievement.

Ms Bess said she was surprised at how passionate Chloe was about spending time with the residents.

“It shocked me, to be honest,” she said.

“She just came into work with me one day and just gravitated towards the residents and actually didn’t want to leave the facility.

“I had to literally drag her out and, every chance after that, if I had to duck into work after I’d finished and she was with me, she came with me.

“She said ‘I want to come in the school holidays’ and ... it’s what she wants to do every school holidays.”

Volunteers across the Northern Rivers were acknowledged at a ceremony in Grafton on September 14.

Other winners included Anastasia Maxwell of Byron Bay for her work with Cancer Council NSW and Max Johnson of South Grafton, who took out the overall Volunteer of the Year Award for the Northern Rivers.

Chloe will attend the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards in Sydney in December.



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