News » Meet Keith, one of our volunteers

Meet Keith, one of our volunteers

In honour of National Volunteer Week, we are sharing interviews with some of our fantastic volunteers from across the organisation. We are also hosting a Volunteer Expo on Thursday at our East Reservoir health centre to showcase our volunteer program and actively recruit volunteers – we hope you can join us!

Keith (he/him) has been volunteering with Your Community Health for 16 years, supporting our Men’s Shed and other community programs. In celebration of National Volunteer Week, Keith tells us how he came to volunteering and why it is so rewarding.

How did you start volunteering at Your Community Health?
I started volunteering here in 2007 after I retired as an upholsterer. One of my neighbours was getting help from the Men’s Shed, so I ended up meeting Nick, the coordinator at the time, and I applied to come down. I have been volunteering there ever since! 

What kind of volunteering have you done at Your Community Health?
I have done a lot of different things as a volunteer here. I have worked in the Men’s Shed quite a lot, passing my furniture repairs skills on to people and getting to know the crew that come in.  

I also volunteer on the Together Project, working with residents in East Reservoir and East Preston to reduce social isolation and improve wellbeing in the communities. 

Lastly, I pack welcome packs and bags for the community and have been practicing my barista skills at the 3073 Coffee Cart! 

What volunteering accomplishment are you most proud of?
Since I have been volunteering at Your Community Health, I am proud of everything I have done. As long as I am feeling useful, I feel happy! 

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering?
The thing I find most rewarding about volunteering is seeing people go from not really participating to getting involved in activities. I also love seeing people learn new skills. It is great fun to chat and get to know people too. 

It is also rewarding to pass on what I know to others. Some Men’s Sheds only have people who already have the skills, but the Darebin Men’s Shed allows people to learn from each other. 

How do you fit volunteering around your other activities or responsibilities?
Overall, I have been volunteering for the local community since 1968, so I am used to fitting it into my schedule. I was involved with the local youth club for 47 years and I have run a schizophrenic carers group for about four to five years. I just do my best to fit everything in. 

What would you say to encourage someone who is thinking about volunteering?
It is a great experience if you have, or can make, the time!