Volunteers assisting in the care of Bill Hawkins, of Goonellabah, are (from left) Suvi Paakkonen, Jamie Castle, Peter Head and Margaret Ware.
Volunteers assisting in the care of Bill Hawkins, of Goonellabah, are (from left) Suvi Paakkonen, Jamie Castle, Peter Head and Margaret Ware. Doug Eaton

Bill's team always on the job in Lismore

AS ONE of the valuable Bill's Team volunteers, Lismore woman Margaret Ware is making a huge difference to one family's life.

She has been involved with the group since moving to the Northern Rivers from Sydney 18 months ago.

However, Bill's Team desperately needs more helpers.

The volunteer group was set up after Bill Hawkins was severely brain damaged in a car accident 18 years ago.

Now 37, Bill, of Goonellabah, has 'locked-in syndrome'.

He is aware of what is going on around him, but can't walk, talk or move.

However, Ms Ware and others like her are making life for Bill's family a bit easier.

“I used to help a young girl with cerebral palsy and I just wanted to do something worthwhile again,” Ms Ware said.

“It's a very special experience. Going to Bill's house is great - it's full of laughter. It's not hard work. People should just give it a go.”

Five days a week for two hours, volunteers visit the family home in Goonellabah to help Bill with his daily exercises and stretches.

Bill's mum, Lindy, said the family would not be able to survive without the help of the volunteers.

“We couldn't manage without them. It would be impossible,” she said.

“The volunteers are really special. We still have people who have been coming to help since Bill first had his accident.”

Team co-ordinator Sharon Holmes said the volunteers were an important part of Bill's daily life.

“Bill will probably never walk or talk again, but you never know what might happen so we want to keep him healthy,” she said.

To get involved, visit the website at www.billsteam.com.au or call Sharon on 6624 7512 or 0412 246 629.



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