Laurie’s ‘all the Apostles’ 12 years of volunteering and bingo

Stawell’s Laurie Carruthers knows how to bring a smile to the residents at Macpherson Smith Care Community.   

The retired truck driver volunteers every Monday and Wednesday at the Grampians Health facility where he calls bingo and provides camaraderie for the residents. 

Laurie’s career in truck driving eventually led to him relocating to Melbourne where he worked for the Federal Government. Upon retirement, he returned to Stawell, where he has now resided for 17 years. 

Laurie’s commitment to community service spans over a decade. He initially joined the hospital’s community care program, which offers transportation assistance to patients attending medical appointments.  

However, after Laurie celebrated his 80th birthday, he decided to change course and contribute his time and enthusiasm to the Meaningful Life Program at Macpherson Smith, which focuses on enhancing the daily lives of its residents. 

“I just like to give something back to the community,” Laurie said. “I was fortunate to have a good job for 23 years and after that, I wanted to help others.” 

The benefits of Laurie’s contributions extend beyond the residents’ enjoyment of the game. He finds volunteering fulfilling and enjoyable. 

“I always like to have a yarn with all the old fellows about the history of the district.” 

For those considering volunteering but hesitant to make a commitment, Laurie’s experience underscores the flexibility and ease with which one can help others. 

Kellie McMaster, Volunteer Program Coordinator West at Grampians Health, says that the volunteers help make a meaningful impact on residents’ lives.  

“Volunteers play a very important role in our health service as they selflessly dedicate their time and compassion to provide support to our residents and patients.”  

Laurie encourages those who are able to dedicate their time to think of volunteering. “It’s easy, flexible, can be done any time and a small amount of time can make a big impact,” he said. 

Outside of volunteering Laurie likes to tend to his vegetable garden. “I mainly grow potatoes, onions and tomatoes and what I don’t use I give away to whoever needs them.”  

For further information about becoming a volunteer like Laurie, please contact Kellie on 5381 9347 or