For Cedric Collars, it is music – not laughter – that is the “best medicine”.
As a volunteer musician with MercyCare, Cedric shares his love of all things musical by providing fortnightly sing-a-longs for senior citizens who attend at McAuley Social Centre and Davis House in Wembley.
He said volunteering his time to play music for senior citizens, including many who live with dementia, warmed his heart.
“I get so much pleasure by bringing happiness back into the world,” Cedric said.
“It’s a wonderful feeling seeing the life and happiness glowing in their eyes, especially when they know the song and remember the tune. Music really is the best medicine.
“They don’t like the modern-day songs. At Davis House they like a bit of Elvis, but at McAuley House they prefer the romantic tunes.
“If they stop clapping their hands and tapping their feet, I know they don’t like that song, so I won’t play it again. The challenge is in making everyone in the room believe that I’m playing the song just for them”.
MercyCare’s Respite and Social Centres Administrator, Paula Bignell said Cedric’s contribution had provided stimulation and conjured happy memories amongst the seniors through songs from their past.
“It is not an understatement to say that Cedric enriches their lives,” she said.
“He is totally committed to making connections through music. The tender way he communicates is a mark of his professionalism.
MercyCare Chief Executive Officer Chris Hall, said MercyCare’s 175 volunteers who selflessly donate their time to help others are greatly valued.
“Our volunteers contribute to the social fabric of MercyCare and the many vital programs we offer to the community.”
“Their generous contributions, across a range of our services, make very real differences to other people’s lives and can have a positive impact on our community as a whole.”
Cedric recently received a ‘High Commendation’ at the 2017 Aged and Community Services Australia Excellence in Care Awards for his volunteer work with MercyCare. Congratulations Cedric!
If you are interested in volunteering for MercyCare, please visit mercycare.com.au/volunteer