It’s National Volunteer Week, so we are celebrating the amazing achievements of incredible volunteers. Sharon, is one of the unsung heroes of Your Community Health, having volunteered her time and energy for over ten years! She is a highly valued member of the Social Support Program. We asked her what she does and why she does it.
What do you do when you volunteer at Your Community Health?
When I started volunteering I worked in the Men’s Group at the East Reservoir health centre. I was there for about three years then decided I’d like a change and started working in the Ladies Group at the PANCH (Preston) health centre, which is where I have helped out for over seven years.
I enjoy craftwork, so I work closely with our clients and help them in a range of art and craft activities. I might suggest activities for the ladies to complete and help think of ways to make this happen and get the materials that we need.
How do you balance volunteering with your working life?
I work full time on night shift and comes straight from work to the PANCH (Preston) health centre on a Friday morning to spend the day with the ladies group. I love spending time with the ladies, so it doesn’t feel like a burden. I don’t mind taking time off work to attend the annual client holiday – but I know that not everyone would be able to make that commitment.
[We know that Sharon’s commitment is extraordinary and she is a huge asset on these trips. We can’t thank her enough for all she does].
What do you get out of coming to the group?
I have an increased level of respect for the elderly and love seeing them each week, seeing their accomplishments. I just totally love being there, making a difference in their lives, seeing them smile.
What do you enjoy about doing the activities?
I like sharing different ideas with craft projects and seeing their enjoyment in doing it. With the Men’s Group I enjoyed joking with them and participating in sports type activities – bocce, footy, ball games – seeing them up and about and motivated.
What motivates you to keep coming?
It’s the enjoyment I get out of it. I have a great rapport with staff and have made some great friends – we socialise out of work. I like making people laugh.
[We agree with that! Sharon is always happy, cheerful and caring. She brings a lot of life to the program. We are so grateful for her contribution and feel she has enriched our workplace with her generosity and passion for working with people.]
I have a totally different perspective on the outcomes of life. It makes me appreciate what I have. I have a better understanding of different ways people live based on circumstances that are out of people’s control.
What are most proud of in your role?
Making Christmas cards. It took it to the next level. Clients were really proud of what they made, which made me proud of being able to give them that opportunity. They now ask for it each year.
What would you say to other people who are thinking about volunteering?
Don’t think, do! It is incredibly rewarding and you will learn so much about yourself and others.
If Sharon’s story has inspired you, check out our current volunteer vacancies. We would love your help!
We regularly advertise our volunteer positions on facebook, so make sure you follow us to get the latest updates.