Tina Cole gives hours to Cobram’s community

By Madi Chwasta

Since retiring from her florist job almost seven years ago, Cobram's Tina Cole gives about 18 hours each week to community organisations.

She mainly volunteers at Cobram Community House, helping with meals and cleaning, but she also spends time tending to the garden at disability organisation PALS, where her son Brendan attends.

Mrs Cole has loved every minute of it.

“It's no pressure like work, you form beautiful and encouraging relationships, and volunteer with some amazing people,” she said.

And she said she had always had the desire to help others.

Known as Cobram's friendly florist for almost 30 years, Mrs Cole used to provide the flower arrangements for Cobram Community House's Doug's Christmas Day lunch.

She then volunteered at the annual lunch, which provided meals and entertainment for older community members on Christmas Day.

Great people: Cobram Community House volunteers Emily Teasdale, Tina Cole, Lynette Morton and Liz Diamond.

After retiring, she then completed a short aged care course at Yarrawonga, and has remained a dedicated volunteer ever since.

“I want to serve people and help my community,” she said.

“For me, it's not what you can get out of society — it's about what you can give back.”

Cobram Community House chief executive Sally Bate said Mrs Cole was one of about 15 regular volunteers who were on the management team, assisted with admin tasks, and organised lunches, activities and programs for the community.

“Our volunteers are a huge part of our organisation,” she said.

“They bring knowledge and experience from diverse backgrounds as well as different perspectives and enthusiasm for what we do.”

She said without them, the organisation would only be able to do about half of what it currently achieves for the community.

Mrs Cole encouraged anyone who was thinking about volunteering to go for it.

“You can volunteer everywhere, including at the CFA or the SES,” she said.

“Why stay home when you can do so much?”