From little things, big things grow

Editor of the Village Voice and keen gardener Di Harcourt

Di Harcourt is a powerhouse – at 76, she has overcome a personal health crisis and is full of positive energy and enthusiasm for the future.

“How would I describe myself? Well, a keen gardener, a history buff and a local explorer –  I’m determined not to get old and mouldy!” she says with a laugh.

Nearly 12 months ago, Di moved into a complex of 12 independent living units at Kingston. It’s a sunny spot, very close to amenities and with lovely views to kunanyi/Mount Wellington.

“I moved here at a time when my health was in crisis, and Anglicare’s home care services came to my rescue then and during some ups and downs since,” she said.

“It took me a while to come to terms with a new environment. I was the new kid on the block and found it difficult to make friends, even though I am a very outgoing person. When the coronavirus came along, I saw an opportunity for our little community to come together, so I set my mind to thinking, what could I do to change things for the better?”

With her public service background, computer skills and a long-held love of the English language, Di landed on the idea of a newsletter that could be popped into her neighbours’ letterboxes and the weekly Village Voice was born.

“Some residents don’t have computers or internet access, so I offered to help them out with jobs and projects, like writing letters, researching family history and so on.  I also try to keep the newsletters full of encouragement and hints and tips, from how to celebrate Anzac Day to where to see the most beautiful trees changing colour in our neighbourhood,” she says.

Celebrating and enjoying nature is very important to Di:  her garden was full of prickles, thorns and weeds when she moved in and now it’s her pride and joy. Her green thumbs also come in handy every Tuesday at the Transport Museum in Glenorchy where she volunteers as the gardener – a role she’s looking forward to returning to, post-virus.

“I’m not one for sitting around in coffee shops, so when my Anglicare support workers visit once a week, we go to the great local nurseries in search of new plants and also visit local attractions like the very interesting Museum at Margate,” she says.  “There’s always something new to see and share.

“I am very grateful for Anglicare’s service – it’s made a BIG difference to my life at the time when I needed it most!”

Di says the positive feedback she’s received from her neighbours has meant a lot to her.

“I would love to see this new community spirit continue. I may have been the only person standing in my driveway on Anzac morning, but I’m not going to give up on finding ways for our community to bond together!”

And as she writes in the Village Voice: “It takes a little darkness for us to see the stars and a whole lifetime to reach them, but we won’t give up on getting through this virus!”

 Di’s tips for healthy and happy living are:

  • stay interested in people
  • recognise that everyone has different personalities and skills
  • enjoy the sunshine, the trees and the birds; and most importantly,
  • keep moving!

If you’d like to know more about Anglicare’s home care services, please give us a ring on 1800 466 300.





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