Much-loved Mandurah volunteer receives top honour at WA Seniors Awards

A much-loved Mandurah volunteer has been recognised as one of the state's most remarkable older people at the this year's WA Seniors Awards.

Long-serving volunteer Rae Endersby took out the 2019 Regional WA Senior of the Year award for her dedicated community service.

At 78 years young, Ms Endersby has volunteered in the Murray region for many years and has been particularly active supporting initiatives that help seniors and the elderly.

She boasts more than 30 years of service to the Friends of the Murray Districts Hospital Group, including two decades as the president.

As part of her service at the hospital, the great-grandmother operates a voluntary patient trolley, delivering basic essentials to people experiencing financial hardship or other difficulties.

She helps to run a number of stalls and raffles every year to raise funds for extra items at the hospital, including, most recently, a blanket warmer and an ice-maker for patients to use.

She is also the president of the Murray Health Group which aims to help people regain health, wellbeing and fitness and assists community members with weight or diet problems.

You don't expect accolades for what you do, and I just do it because I like helping people, but it is a great honour to be acknowledged.

2019 Regional WA Senior of the Year award winner Rae Endersby

In an interview with the Mandurah Mail, a very humble Ms Endersby said she was "terribly surprised" to take home the top honour.

"My son and his wife and my daughter and her husband were there with me and I think they were more excited than I was," she laughed.

"I just didn't expect it so I didn't make a speech and then I had to wing it so I was pretty hopeless and absolutely terrified."

Ms Endersby, who also dedicates time to raising money for Alzheimer's through the Ladies With Heart charity and is the president of the Pinjarra Tai Chi group, said she simply just enjoyed volunteering.

"I love getting out there and working with the other ladies, who are all so nice and very supportive," she said.

"It keeps me busy, sometimes a bit too busy but I can't sit around so I do enjoy it.

"You don't expect accolades for what you do, and I just do it because I like helping people, but it is a great honour to be acknowledged."

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Rockingham Peel Group executive director, Kath Smith, said she could not have chosen a more deserving recipient of the award.

"This award is a fitting recognition of Rae's dedication over so many years," she said.

"We greatly appreciate the efforts of Rae and all our volunteers to provide extra comfort for patients."

Ms Endersby received the recognition alongside carers advocate Angela McCluskey, who took home Metropolitan WA Senior of the Year for establishing the popular Forget-me-not cafe community group that provides a nurturing environment for people living with dementia and their carers.

Seniors and Ageing Minister Mick Murray congratulated and thanked the winners and finalists for their dedication and commitment.

"While we know nobody does this sort of work for the recognition, I hope you take a moment to reflect on your years of dedicated service to these worthy causes," he said.

"Angela and Rae are wonderful examples of the positive contributions older people make to our communities. Both have dedicated a great deal of their own time in service of others and they are worthy winners.

"The age-friendly movement is something the state government is passionate about supporting, and this year's winners provide a wonderful example to their peers about what can be achieved with age-friendly thinking.

"The Awards also provide a wider opportunity for the community to reflect on the many and varied contributions older people make to Western Australian life - and remind to us all that age does not have to be a barrier."

Presented by the Council on the Ageing (WA) and the state government, the 2019 WA Seniors Awards are celebrated as part of WA Seniors Week, which runs from November 10-17.