The past 18 months has been full of lockdowns, social distancing and working from home, while volunteering and face-to-face socialising has diminished.
Volunteers are what keeps society ticking and Ararat is no exception, with countless residents giving up their time to support various groups, clubs and charities
President of the EGHS Support Group Marlene Goudie said her role gives her a "great deal" of satisfaction.
"I have been involved in the group for five years and have loved my time as part of it," she said.
"It is a great role, you get more out of it than they do, it is very satisfying."
Mrs Goudie said the close-knit group to volunteers can't wait to visit the residents once again.
"We have a terrific group and everyone works as part of the team and everybody gets on well with each other and enjoys visiting the residents as well," she said.
"Through lockdown we have not been able to go and visit for a long time.
"The residents have missed out visits and we have missed visiting the residents as well."
Mrs Goudie said the support group is crucial to provide a different dimension to the resident's lives.
"When we visit the residents, the really look forward to us going," she said.
"I think the most important part for the residents is that contact, they may not get out and about in the community but it's that link to the community.
"We provide morning and afternoon teas, we have a gardening group starting were we can go and work with them in the garden.
"It will encourage them to go outside more, a bit of a change to their daily routine."
Mrs Goudie said the group has a succession plan in place.
"A lot of our member are getting older so we are always recruiting new members, younger members as well," she said.
"We get great support from EGHS, Jodie (Holwell) especially.
"We are trying to figure out how to get out and about to attract more people.
"Our group is good in a way because we do activities with residents and we also do fundraising, so people can do what they want to do within the group."
Ark Toy and Activity Library president Kaye Chamings said she loves to volunteering her time at the toy library, interacting with children and being a friend in need for any parents.
The toy centre is in it's 39th year and operates at East Grampians Health Service, providing a lending service to families of people with special needs.
Mrs Chamings said the auxiliary was the the perfect fit for her once she entered retirement.
"After finishing my teaching career I approached the president of the Toy Library at the time and asked if I could join," she said.
"I had heard all about it and all of the great work that they do.
"We have a beautiful room there and it is just so bright of an area, it is lovely.
"It just made sense for me to join."
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Mrs Chamings said she enjoys creating a bond with the families who use the toy centre.
"There has been times when there has been families who have children with special needs," she said.
"That part for me teaches me something about how this mum is coping with her baby.
"I have formed a really close connection with these people.
"It brings lots of joy to me to see these little people."
Mrs Chamings said the toy centre is vital for numerous families and friends throughout the municipality.
"We welcome all families," she said.
"Some of those families are coming in from farming communities, so they are isolated.
"It has been great, not just for the toddlers but for the mums - it gives them a purpose."
Mrs Chamings said the group of 16 volunteers share the load of responsibilities.
"We all participate equally and because of that we have been able to maintain the group," she said.
"If you don't feel valued you would probably tend to leave.
"We pride ourselves that after every session, those toys are washed and cleaned and popped away for the next lot of children who are going to come in.
We were always very careful that the toys were wiped and clean washed, now that COVID-19 has come in we have to give that extra special care."
Mrs Chamings encouraged residents to join the Ark Toy and Activity Library to continue the group's legacy.
We are looking forward to next year because we are not reopening until next year
"We are the envy of some of the other groups within the hospital because we have got plenty of helpers
"Once we get to the age that we can no longer participate we will try to recruit more heavily.
"We welcome new members, however you need the right type of person to join our group
"We are very much hands on and we are there to be a listening ear for the mums and dads who use toy library."
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