WHILE some people may go through life never realising their true calling, Flinders' Diana Kemp believes she has always known hers.
The 70-year-old retiree gives up much of her time each week to volunteer at UnitingCare's Elanora Aged Care facility in Shellharbour, and enjoys every minute of it.
"It's my calling," she said. "I love being with the elderly people and helping them and listening to them and learning from them. I'd much rather be doing this than sitting at home.
"My mother and grandmother really instilled in me the importance of helping people and doing things for people, and the fact that if you can help somebody you should."
Mrs Kemp currently volunteers at the Elanora facility two or three days each week and has a long history of volunteering in the Shellharbour area.
"I've been here for the last two years and I'll be here for as long as I can be.
"I come down and call the bingo, help with organising the chapel visits and the arts and crafts, or I might just have a cup of coffee with some of the residents to give them somebody to talk to.
"Before this I volunteered at an Anglicare centre for eight or 10 years. That was more of a one-on-one program where you would visit one resident and I really made a lot of friendships out of that."
Mrs Kemp's volunteering efforts were recognised earlier this year, when she was presented with a Shellharbour NSW Seniors Week Local Achievement Award.
"I didn't know anything about it until I opened the letter they sent me and it came as a real shock. I couldn't believe it, really.
"I'd never thought about getting an award. I do this because I enjoy the company of the people I get to know."
While Mrs Kemp has been awarded for her efforts and it is currently National Volunteer Week, there are people who believe volunteers like her deserve more recognition.
Gonnie Derks' mother is a resident at the Elanora facility and is grateful for Mrs Kemp's efforts.
"She's extremely good at what she does and she's a wonderful person," she said.
"You need to have a lot of patience to do this . . . everybody who does this type of thing should be celebrated."