We’re shining a spotlight on some of our Disability and Aged Care clients – affectionately known as ‘Coastlinkers’ – and the Coastlink services that help them to live their lives, their way.

In this edition, we get to know Coastlinkers Lucille Penny, Helen Goudge and Margaret Koppman, who all like to spend their free time at a Coastlink Friendship Centre: a warm and inviting place where clients can meet new people, enjoy a meal, and have a good laugh together.

Hi ladies, and thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. How long have you lived on the Central Coast, and what are some of your favourite places to visit here?

Helen: I’ve lived on the Central Coast for seven years as of April, and my favourite place to spend time is in my home.

Lucille: I have been on the Coast for 27 years, and I love to spend time at Coastlink’s Friendship Group.

Margaret: I’ve been living on the Central Coast for 23 years, and my favourite place I’ve lived was at Summerland Point.

Home really is where the heart is. Can you tell us a little bit about the things in your life that have made you feel the most proud?

Lucille: For me, I would say it’s having a son and my two grandchildren.

Margaret: I’ve enjoyed the time I spent working, particularly fruit picking. I’m proud of how I raised my family, too, and that I travelled with my husband.

Helen: I was always very physical and played a lot of tennis; I wish I could still do it.

We’re sure you were brilliant at it, Helen. How did you all come to be part of Coastlink and our Aged Care Program, and what are some of your favourite activities to participate in together?

Helen: When I first moved to the Central Coast seven years ago, I received a brochure from the Friendship Centre that detailed all the things you could do in the area. I really love craft and all of the social outings that we can go on.

Margaret: When my husband passed away in 2017, someone asked if I would like to join. Like Helen, I love going on outings, playing games and craft, and going away to Catalina Lakefront Retreat in Lake Macquarie.

Lucille: I’ve been part of the Coastlink family for about six years, and I first found out about Coastlink through Aged Care after being in hospital. I love to participate in all of the social outings, too.

Continued independence and quality of life are at the heart of our programs. What Coastlink supports do you feel are most beneficial for helping to meet your needs?

Lucille: I get good exercise from the physical activities that Coastlink offers, and I also have lots of friends there, so I really enjoy our time together.

Margaret: Our games keep me active, too, and I really appreciate the friendships and bonds that I’ve formed.

Helen: For me, going out with the group helps with my social and emotional needs. I always look forward to my days with Coastlink.

That’s so lovely to hear. Can you tell us about a particularly happy Coastlink memory, or one activity that stands out most to you?

Helen: I loved being able to go along to the Cinderella and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert shows at the theatre.

Margaret: Yes, I really enjoy going to theatre shows, too, as well as to the zoo.

Lucille: I just love going to musicals with Coastlink!

Sounds like you all share a real passion for live theatre! There’s just nothing like seeing live performances together with your friends. On that topic – what advice would you all give to someone who is thinking of joining Coastlink and our Aged Care program?

Helen: Go for it, it’s wonderful! My favourite thing about Coastlink is the friendships I’ve made – everyone is lovely.

Lucille: I agree. It’s very good, and everybody is very nice. I really love all of the friendships and the laughs.

Margaret: It’s great; you’ll love all the people.

Thanks again for taking the time to chat, ladies. We’ve got one final question for you: “Three words I would use to describe Coastlink staff would be…”

Helen: Hard-working, courteous and friendly.

Margaret: Good and helpful!

Lucille:  Wonderful, caring people.

Continued independence and quality of life are at the heart of Coastlink’s aged care supports, and the organisation currently supports 110+ Aged Care clients to live their lives, their way.

Find out more about our Friendship Centres or any of our Aged Care programs: coastlink.org.au/aged-care

Three Friendship Centre participants

Pictured left to right: Lucille Penny, Helen Goudge and Margaret Koppman