Paula Hardwick has been named Central Coast Citizen of the Year in the 2021 Australia Day ceremony.
Paula is a casual Support Worker for Sunnyfield working across a number of Sunnyfield Shared Living homes on the Central Coast. During the Christmas period, clients were unable to visit Santa due to restrictions. Paula, along with a fellow Meals on Wheels Central Coast volunteer, took it upon themselves to hire a Santa and elf costume, borrow a convertible car and drive from house to house so Sunnyfield clients could have a personal visit from Santa. Both clients and staff all agreed that it was the most special Christmas yet.
In addition to the work she does with Sunnyfield, Paula has also volunteered for Meals on Wheels NSW for 32 years, works with Orange Sky Laundry to do the washing for homeless and disadvantaged people, and is a member of the Qantas Cabin Crew Team (QCCT) working on projects in Manila, Phillipines and Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2020, Paula raised $1000 to go towards a Christmas celebration for an orphanage in Manila.
When asked what she loves most about her volunteering projects, Paula said “It’s the giving of time and most importantly the receiving of a smile that is the reason I do this. Helping someone is a great gift and making someone’s day is amazing.”