Almost two decades ago, in 2000, Pam Meddings started a seniors exercise group in East Doncaster, Living Longer, Living Stronger (LLLS). Today, the East Doncaster LLLS is one of the most successful in Victoria, with over 130 members. A wheelchair user herself, Pam welcomes all members to the group, adapting the exercise program to include older people with different health conditions and needs.
As well as taking registrations at five classes each week, Pam has created a strong social network in the group. A friend and counsellor to many, she organises and fundraises for many group outings and celebrations, as well as visiting members in hospital and accompanying them for funerals. Pam is also active in the community, promoting LLLS, fundraising for charity, working with basketball teams and contributing on many committees connected to the local council.
Having worked in the heart of the community for forty years, Pam is an inspiration to the people around her. COTA volunteer Mabel Png remembers giving a talk at East Doncaster, and seeing Pam for the first time. In her wheelchair at her desk, group members were gathered all around her ‘like bees to honey’. Mabel was inspired to join the East Doncaster LLLS, where she has increased her classes to twice a week – and made many good friends.