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Colleen and Hulbert Black are Estia Health's Volunteers of the year
Colleen and Hulbert Black are Estia Health's Volunteers of the year

Our very own ‘Bert and Ernie’ of Burton are the winners of the 2017 Estia Health National Volunteer Award!

To celebrate National Volunteer Week (8-14 May) and publically recognise the great contributions our volunteers make, we launched our first ever Estia Health National Volunteer Award. Loyalty Corp, our Estia4u provider and proud sponsor of the Award, share “it’s an honour for us to help celebrate the huge commitment, time and effort of these unsung heroes.”

All nominations from Estia homes nationwide have been carefully considered and we are thrilled to announce joint winners of the 2017 Award are Colleen and Hulbert Black of Estia Health Burton.

Colleen and Hulbert, more affectionately known as ‘Bert and Ernie’, first began visiting the Burton home in 2003 to keep their uncle (and resident) Les company. Always encouraging Les to participate in activities by joining in themselves, the animated pair soon became a familiar, and much loved presence around the home. And when uncle Les passed away 8 years later, the two continued to drop in at the home as volunteers.

 “If I could describe Colleen and Bert in three words it would be: loving, nurturing and happy”– Debi Cuculowskyj, Lifestyle Coordinator, Estia Health Burton.

A very lively lady, Colleen loves spending quality time with residents. Overseeing the home’s lifestyle arts and crafts activities, her creative nature regularly blossoms. “Her current project involves fashioning handbags from handkerchiefs!” reflects Debi.

And if you can hear whistling down the corridors – that would be Burton’s Bert. A real character and the home’s joke teller, Bert forever lifts the spirits of all those around him. Joyfully running the men’s club, and enthusiastically hosting bingo - there is never a dull moment with Bert.

Every year, the home eagerly anticipates Christmas time with Bert and Ernie. With much festive cheer, the two dress up as Father and Mother Christmas and merrily distribute gifts to smiling residents.    

Colleen and Bert are invaluable to the home and continually go out of their way for residents, families and employees alike. From the Estia family, congratulations to you both and a massive thank you for the time and support you give.


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