A jewel among carers
GRANDMOTHER JUGGLES WORK AND HELP
WHERE grandmother and businesswoman Karen Lindley finds the time to spend so many hours each week volunteering is a mystery to her friends and colleagues.
As a volunteer for Bravehearts she often works all hours helping victims of child sexual assault as well as running a jewellery business.
She guides victims through the rigours of the criminal justice system and, according to police in the Sex Crimes Unit, has helped lock up 19 paedophiles.
Mostly, the victims she works with are adults, but the youngest is six and the oldest 78.
“Often I am the first port of call and all I do is talk them through the process and hold their hand when they make a police statement,” the Arcadia resident said.
“It can be very confronting and many people just don’t know where to start or what to do. Sometimes these people have never told anybody and, now with the Royal Commission, more people feel comfortable coming out.”
Kylie Yates, of the Centre for Volunteering, describes Karen as a “real standout” from the hundreds of amazing volunteers they meet each year.
“She helps survivors of child sexual assault get their lives back and helps the police lock up paedophiles to make our kids safer,” Ms Yates said.
Ms Lindley also sits on the board of homeless girls’ charity the Lillian Howell Project and for two years cared for an elderly man with a brain injury.
She is proud of her three grandchildren who share her generosity of spirit.
Last year, her 11-year-old granddaughter cut her hair to make wigs for cancer patients while another raised funds for children in Cambodia. And her seven-year-old grandson Will Lindley was recently recognised for giving away his birthday presents to foster children.
The lifelong volunteer has been nominated for a Pride of Australia medal.
Bravehearts volunteer Karen Lindley.