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There's a greater spirit of friendliness in the air - Allan Mayfield, 2020 South Australian Citizen of the Year

Posted on May 03 2020

During this time we want to tell the stories of great South Australians who are working hard to make a difference in their communities. The following is a guest post from Allan Mayfield, recipient of 2020 South Australian Citizen of the Year.

The amazing response from many people after being awarded Citizen of the Year for 2020 has made me realise that it is as much an award for all volunteers, especially those in our local community.  This award has instilled a sense of pride and satisfaction for many people that I am associated with.  None of my achievements would have been possible without a willing band of helpers and great collaboration with local, state and federal governments.

Our work to maintain the Riesling Trail in the Clare Valley is a mix of on-going maintenance and development of new and improved facilities.  There is no shortage of willing volunteers to help here.  Even at this time of “social distancing” we can continue with some of this work, such as our recent tree planting along the new section of the trail north of Auburn.  What makes it all the more worthwhile is the popularity of the trail - it’s a safe and peaceful place to visit as well as having great scenery and bushland settings.  Our traffic counters show that the use of the trail has increased a lot in the past month (compared with recent years), no doubt as other more organised events have been cancelled and many people are keen to get out of the house for a while.

While our Lions Second-Hand Furniture Store is closed for the moment, we are still assisting the needy with furniture donations and doing the occasional pickup of furniture people no longer need.  We have had to go slow on these pickups for the present until we re-open and start selling again, and so making space for more furniture.  Since we started last July, over 1,000 items have been donated (and most have sold most or donated to those in need).  From our sales we have purchased special reclining chairs for wards in the Clare Hospital and have made donations towards bushfire relief in the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island.  Another nice point about the Lions furniture store is that there are now five other volunteers from the community who help Lions Club members in the store. 

Our Lions Club is continuing however with our monthly food pickup (from SecondBite in Adelaide) which is then parcelled up by volunteers and delivered to 50 needy families in the district, in liaison with social welfare agencies. 

So, even though right now we have travel and other restrictions, there are still the opportunities to contribute to the community.  In fact, in these times it is even more worthwhile as some people are in greater need than previously.  As well, there is definitely a greater spirit of friendliness in the air and people appreciate seeing others out and about.

To read more and nominate for the Australia Day Citizen of the Year Award, click here

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