THE tables turned on long-time volunteer Terry Hoare last Wednesday when a team of young people visited to reinvigorate his garden.
They raked, shovelled and mulched his front yard to say thanks on behalf of a grateful community for his many contributions over the years, including leading the revamp of Murray Bridge Town Hall and construction of Murray Bridge Players and Singers' headquarters.
The gardeners were Mannum Community College students, led by Energy Education Australia's Peter Sawley, who described Mr Hoare as deserving of their service.
"If you rang up and said "I need somebody to help me" he'd drop what he was doing and come help," he said.
"He's that type of person - he puts himself last."
Mr Sawley said experiences such as this also helped the teenaged volunteers get into the mindset of work, gain experience and build towards their industry white cards.
"Next year we'll train these guys, possibly at (youth centre) The Station, and do some of the units of competency that might lead to building, plumbing or horticulture," he said.
"The kids learn a lot and learn by doing, not from someone standing up the front and telling them.
"We're trying to do work experience, do portfolios, get mock interviews done and get them employment-ready."
That concept, said Mr Hoare, was the reason he was willing to accept the volunteers' help.
"I'm embarrassed ... (but) I think it's a great thing," he said.
"I look forward to working with these kids to help them get a work ethic and some skills - that'll be my return."