As Robert Mogliotti strolled through the Bupa Aged Care in Griffith seven years ago, a hand grabbed his arm.
It was an elderly resident who was looking for company and just wanted to have a chat.
With no relationship or prior experience with the resident, Mr Mogliotti pulled up a chair and listened to their stories.
It was the start of almost a decade of selfless volunteering that was recently recognised in Wagga.
Mr Mogliotti was named the Senior Volunteer of the Year and the NSW Volunteer of the Year for his work at the aged care home.
Mr Mogliotti’s father-in-law was admitted to the home seven years ago and his mother followed almost 18 months later.
Sitting around the common room, Mr Mogliotti was exposed to a range of residents who just wanted to talk.
“You just observe, particularly people with dementia, they forget they just had a family member visit them,” he said.
“As soon as you walk in you see their eyes light up.
“You could see they appreciated it and you could see the staff appreciate you being able to give a bit of time.”
Thursdays are a busy day for Mr Mogliotti.
He spends his afternoons taking residents for a drive, sitting with them in a cafe for coffee or walking around the block in the sunshine.
Mr Mogliotti’s giving spirit has rubbed off on his wife, Mary, who visits the home on Wednesday to play cards with the residents.
His two granddaughters also help in the school holidays.
“It makes you feel good,” he said.
“You feel so good that you’ve given a bit of joy to their day.”
Mr Mogliotti was shocked by his multiple wins on Wednesday after not even fully comprehending what he was nominated for.
“I thought it was just a Bupa program then I get there and find out it was a state thing,” he said.
“I was totally shocked.”
Mr Mogliotti encourages others to volunteer at their own local aged care homes.
Other winners include the MLHD Local Health Advisory Committee for Volunteer Team of the Year and Brian Bortolin from Lake Wyangan for Adult Volunteer of the Year.