Doug Petty is known for his artistic skills and sense of humor amongst participants of the City of Playford’s disability and accessibility group, Playford Friends.
Doug has been with the group for almost four years. Initially he gained a taste for volunteering with people living with a disability through a program in the Barossa but wanted something closer to home. Fortunately the City of Playford were advertising a vacancy with Playford Friends, and he was successful in his application.
"My role with the Playford Friends group is really important to me and I take it seriously," said Doug.
Firstly it’s essential that everyone in the group is safe, and following on from that they’ve got to be happy with what they’re doing and having fun.
According to Doug, a typical day volunteering with the group is busy.
“How can I say this… you don’t just sit around all day, you are involved in different activities throughout the day. “You need to have your eyes and ears everywhere, making sure everybody’s safe, happy and occupied.”
For Doug the hard work is worth the reward, a small praise or a kind gesture from a participant means a lot. It’s these moments and the participants that motivate Doug to continue volunteering. “If I have a break over Christmas or with COVID-19, I miss them madly as they’re all lovely.”
After a career working as a fire fighter and with newspapers, Doug brings his diverse life experience and creativity to the role. “I’m getting on a bit, right. “Because of that I’ve got a lot of life experience, and I’ve done a lot of things,” he said. “I also like drawing and painting, so I bring those skills too.”
“And I like to laugh. “The thing I want to get out of my day when I arrive in the morning is let’s all have a laugh,” he said.
Doug volunteers with the Playford Friends group every Wednesday, and sometimes on a Friday. On these days it’s important to Doug that he makes the whole day a different experience to what participants would normally experience during their week.
“It might be painting, drawing, exercise or dancing – they love dancing. “I just want to help them do something the might not be able to do at home.”
If you are interested in learning more about volunteering opportunities with the City of Playford or the Playford Friends group, visit the links below.
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