Young or a little older: sporting together unites

“It was so easy involving the elderly to participate in Mandela Day”, smiles Lenie van Breda from the De Wellen Elderly Centre." During the year I was regularly asked: "Are the people from Aspen coming back? We had such a nice sporting event last year!"

More than 30 elderly residents enjoyed the afternoon that was hosted by 15 Aspen employees. for a team-ball game. Lester, a professional sports coach, “Teamball looks like volleyball but a little more is allowed, and the elderly enjoy playing the game. The most important rule of the day however, was to see a smile on everyone’s face!"

"I enjoyed it!" said Brigitte Caris from Aspen Oss. "It was surprising to see how much the elderly can still do. Some of them even got up from their wheelchairs and were quite good at throwing the ball.” Brigitte challenged all Aspen employees to join in the initiative and give back to others for Mandela Day. “It was much fun, particularly witnessing the enthusiasm of the elderly!"

Providing muscle power at the deer park

"The deer park is an important place for Oss, especially for visitors, children and certainly for our volunteers,” says Gerry van Rooij, Park Manager at Hertenkamp – a park that houses various animals which children who are physically or mentally handicapped take care of.

Hertenkamp is part of De Elzenhoek, which was established in 1970 as an educational and recreational meeting place for Oss’ residents.

“The majority of volunteers are boys who enjoy the outdoors, being active and who may be experiencing challenges at school. They blossom here because of the outdoor work," said Mrs van Rooij.

“Once a year the stables of the deer park must be cleaned. This is a big job that calls for many volunteers and muscle power. It's great that the team from Aspen Oss has supported us with this laborious activity."

Aspen Oss’ Angelique Horruitiner participated in Mandela Day for the first time in 2019 and said, “I had a great morning. Besides the hard work I enjoyed the camaraderie with my colleagues, some of whom I didn't know yet. I advise everyone to join in for a change:you're doing something good as a volunteer and you enhance peer relationships at the same time."