When you meet Valerie Barton, she greets you with such an infectious smile and a bright manner, you can’t help but warm to her. This has to be her secret for being so popular with children.
Val came to Australia from the UK with her husband Brian in 1962. She worked with Aboriginal children for 2 years in South Australia. After that they moved to Sydney and Val took up a position at Karabi Aboriginal Centre, Westmead where she worked for many years. Later she became Assistant Librarian at Baulkham Hills High School.
As a child, she went with her father to a youth club he ran and enjoyed helping him with the children, an interest which carried into her adult life. Val volunteered her time with Parents and Partners, which help disadvantaged families. It was here Val met a seven year-old girl who became a regular visitor to her home at weekends for years.
Val is an inaugural volunteer of Bella Vista Farm. Her passion for young people and their welfare is evident. She welcomes the children with her cheeky smile and happy disposition. Their parents can take a leisurely tour through the house and know their children are engaged with arts and crafts and activities Val organises. Sometimes she takes a tour of her own accompanied by the children, bringing alive some of the history of the Farm.
She is qualified to work with children and holds a TAFE Tour Guide certificate.
Val has a very positive outlook on life. Her philosophy is ‘you get back what you give and giving to children gives them a positive future for them’. Val has a daughter and grandson in the UK and a son and three grandchildren in Australia. Her joy for living and giving is a gem which the Friends of Bella Vista Farm acknowledge and treasure.
• Bella Vista Farm is open this Sunday, February 2, from 9am to 2pm.
• There will be a spinning demonstration, arts and crafts for the children and tours of the house for a gold coin donation.
• Friends of Bella Vista Farm will also be serving Devonshire teas.
• The Farm has an open day on the first Sunday of the month.