Tammy Bentley is a living example of how to turn a setback into an opportunity, bringing life and colour to elderly residents in IMPACT’s Community Visitors Scheme (CVS).
A few years ago Tammy injured her back and had to regularly go to Brisbane. She decided all the time she spent waiting and on trains could be put to better use, so she bought some supplies and began colouring.
The creative outlet provided her with a positive distraction and relief and something she was eager to share with others.
One day she was at IMPACT Community Services for an appointment and learned about the CVS.
She suggested to the scheme’s facilitator, Heather Hinsbey, that she'd like to share her skills with others and signed up.
Tammy started a class for 12 people every Sunday at an aged care facility before COVID-19 struck.
During the restrictions when she could not go in, she delivered packs for all of the participating residents on a regular basis.
And now that the restrictions have eased she does one-on-one visits for all her burgeoning artists.
Tammy is actually a professional colourist and does work with book covers. She is friends with lots of artists and book compilers and has amassed hundreds of designs and pictures, along with permission to share them.
While for so many people, the coronavirus threw everything into turmoil, it only made Tammy more determined to share her knowledge.
“Life will never be the same,” Tammy said.
“It has made me think outside of the box and I'm always thinking of ideas to make it better.
“Everybody is learning, me included.”
Tammy knows she's hit upon a great remedy for anyone who needs a respite from their problems and issues, or just an opportunity to “get out of the doldrums”.
“Everyone needs a creative outlet and this is very therapeutic, very meditative and highly addictive,” she said.
Tammy regards the residents she visits as family now.
“Nothing beats spending quality time with them, colouring and talking and laughing,” she said.
IMPACT is always looking for more volunteers to join its CVS program. If you are interested in helping provide friendship to one of our region’s elderly call 4153 4233 or click here.