Grief, guidance, and giving back

  • by Kate Bowman
  • October 3, 2023

Joy Rappo has been volunteering with The Compassionate Friends in South Western Sydney for over 20 years. The organisation provides volunteer-led peer support groups and activities offering friendship and understanding to grieving parents, grandparents, and siblings after the death of a child of any age and for any reason.

Joy first came into contact with the group after losing her son, Anthony, when she was seeking support to help her through her bereavement. Now she volunteers to give something back for the help she received and to provide comfort to others in the same situation.

The Centre for Volunteering interviewed Joy as part of their Local Legends series of podcasts providing her with an opportunity to reflect on her experience. Joy speaks to how instrumental the group’s support was to her learning how to live with grief, and how to live a full and wonderful life while never forgetting her son.

Joy says, ” I will always remember the first I went to Compassionate Friends. I don’t remember exactly what they said but I do remember how they made me feel – I was going to be OK.”

Since then, Joy had dedicated herself to volunteering with The Compassionate Friends and undertaken a wide range of activities and roles including training, events, fundraising, governance, and collecting submissions for a dedicated cookbook consisting entirely of comforting recipes. Last year her contribution was recognised and she was awarded Senior Volunteer of the Year.

Listen to the whole podcast here.

Find out more about The Compassionate Friends on their website here.

Main photo of Joy Rappo with thanks to The Centre for Volunteering.

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