Meet Isobel Wilson, Denmark Food Pantry Volunteer

Published on Tuesday, 17 January 2023 at 9:03:51 AM

Meet Isobel Wilson, Denmark Food Pantry

Story and images by SERENA KIRBY

Every Wednesday morning, Isobel Wilson clips on her name tag and pulls out her lists. She checks supplies, arranges foodstuffs and prepares to welcome those that have a need to come.

Isobel is one of the two caring women who volunteer at the CRC’s Food Pantry which helps provide basic supplies to locals in need. Isobel has been donating her time to this vital service every week for the past two years and says volunteering had always been something she wanted to do

“My background is in banking and administration,” Isobel says.

“My husband and I ran a printing brokerage in Perth for a decade and I handled all the office admin. I’m a very organised person and I’ve always valued a sense of community so when I moved to Denmark I dropped into the CRC to ask what volunteer roles were available. Helping manage the Food Pantry seemed a perfect fit.”

Originally from England, Isobel moved to Australia forty years ago and relocated to Denmark in 2018.

“l feel life’s about balance; you give a bit, you take a bit. I see my role at the Pantry as one of facilitating people that perhaps aren't in a good place right now. It’s been an eye-opening experience as we often tend to live in our own little world and how we see the world is not always true for everyone else.”

Isobel adds that, while she always greets those who come to the Food Pantry with a smile and a willing ear, she’s conscious that not everyone is comfortable with admitting they need food support.

“There’s been moments when people have sat down and poured their hearts out but others just want to get supplies and leave. I don’t judge and I don’t push. I’m led by the person as to how much they want to talk or share. For me it’s all about listening and accepting them.”

Sometimes special connections are formed and Isobel recalls one young mother who wanted to learn to crochet as she hoped to start a market stall.

“I’m more of a knitter than a crocheter but I was able to teach her the basics and we spent a lovely morning together with our hooked needles and yarn. It was a pretty special experience.”

And Isobel doesn’t confine herself to simply helping in the Food Pantry. She also volunteers at the Repair Cafe and has helped other local groups with sewing reusable carry bags and fabric bunting.

“People often think that volunteering is altruistic but I don’t see it that way. I get a lot more out of it than the effort it takes to do it.”

Back to All News