Happy National Volunteer Week! This week was created to recognise the vital support that the millions of volunteers in our country provide to their communities, and to encourage others to consider volunteering. People have various reasons why they might volunteer, which may include wanting to give back to the community, helping a cause close to their heart, or perhaps volunteering and fundraising in memory of someone they’ve lost. Whatever the reason, they all have one thing in common – they are making a valuable and positive difference in the world.
That’s why we think these people deserve to be celebrated! Below we feature some of our wonderful staff members who volunteer, or have done so in the past, and sharing where they volunteer and why they do it. We are so proud of them and their contributions, so we wanted to share their volunteering stories with you.
Firstly, let us introduce our home support worker, Ron. Ron’s love of animals had him volunteering for the Fauna Rescue for five years, being on the committee and helping rehabilitate animals. He said he volunteered there because he has always liked animals and could spend days talking about the environment and animals – how sweet!
He also volunteers at the Special Olympics umpiring cricket when they come to Adelaide every couple of years. As an avid sport lover, he assists with umpiring football and cricket games all over, including for the McGrath Foundation Pink Day, Army vs Navy game, Master’s, Adelaide Football League and local football clubs.
Ron has worked with Holiday Explorers, an organisation that provides meaningful experiences to people with intellectual disabilities and their carers. Their wide range of activities includes activities like cooking classes, going to the theatre, the Fringe, musicals and sporting events, fishing trips and various multi-day trips with Operation Flinders. Ron helped chaperone activities like this, and when asked why he volunteers, he said he does it so he can give back to the community and that’s part of the reason why he works for Accept Care. His passion for helping people shines through in his work and we have received some great feedback about Ron from his clients.
If you would like to get involved with any of these wonderful organisations, visit their websites below for more information.
Fauna Rescue https://www.faunarescue.org.au/membership
Special Olympics https://www.specialolympics.com.au/join
Holiday Explorers https://www.holidayexplorers.com.au/volunteer-2
Next up is our home support worker, Julie, who volunteered for the Sammy D Foundation for about 10 years, but had to take a step back due to work commitments.
The Sammy D Foundation was founded in 2008 by Nat Cook and Neil Davis who tragically lost their son, Sam, at the age of 17 to a one punch attack. Their aim in creating the foundation was to provide skills to young people in order to prevent such a tragedy from happening again, and they have continued to do this for fifteen years. Julie speaks very highly of them and is in awe what they do.
Julie worked in the head office assisting with general administration duties and used to help with running the fundraising events, such as fun walks and galas. She said she enjoyed taking her children along to help out and teach them about giving back.
When asked why she started volunteering for the foundation, Julie said she resonated with what they stood for and the work they were doing. She said the thought of anything happening to her own children broke her heart, so when she first heard Sam’s story, she just wanted to help out as much as she could.
Julie enjoyed volunteering and knowing that they were raising money to help other people. She said it made her feel good that she was helping someone, and that’s why she loves her job with Accept Care. Knowing that she is helping her clients is the best feeling, and that’s why working in aged care is such a rewarding role.
The Sammy D Foundation’s hard working and dedicated volunteers contribute around 26% of the organisations total working hours annually. If you would like to get involved, they have various volunteer roles available, including fundraising and event support and mentoring young people who are considered ‘at risk’. Visit https://www.sammydfoundation.org.au/support/volunteer for more information.
Our superstar home support worker, Sue, is a jack of all trades when it comes to volunteering.
She volunteers every Wednesday at the Capri Theatre assisting with ushering and working at the candy bar. The theatre is run solely by volunteers and Sue thoroughly enjoys volunteering there, describing the volunteers as a big family.
Sue spends a lot of time at her church, St Francis Cathedral, and acts as a special minister coordinating mass and as the nationally appointed person checking police clearances. She also gives communion with the priest, takes collection, conducts baptism workshops and lends an ear to people who need support. She recently spent six years studying Theology, the study of the nature of God and religious belief, through Dayton University in the USA.
Sue’s ventures continue with helping Unley Council with bus trips and hosting their fortnightly ladies’ luncheon, collecting food for the Hutt Street Centre, working at the Vinnies store in Parkside and previously being part of the chaplaincy team at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. As you can imagine, her schedule is quite full! 😜
Growing up, Sue’s mother was a trained nurse who taught home nursing and first aid as a volunteer and also volunteered with Blood Bank and Red Cross door knocking. Sue was taught to care and help people from a young age as her grandfather had been in Gallipoli and returned blind, and her cousin has muscular dystrophy. Her grandmother was part of the church and Sue was raised with Christian values which she continues to follow now. Sue said she loves people and always wants to help people and we’re pleased to have her onboard with Accept Care.
If you would like to volunteer at the Capri Theatre, please visit https://capri.org.au/volunteer to apply.
Our home support worker, Mechell, volunteers for her Maronite Catholic Church and spends much of her time there. Mechell’s family moved to Australia when she was three years old and they have all been heavily involved with their church since then. Her parents volunteered and raised their children to do the same, so volunteering became a way of life for her.
Mechell organises the church’s monthly senior’s lunch, which includes a different topic of conversation, information, activity or event each month. Some of the recent and upcoming events include a performance from the police band, a presentation from My Aged Care with assistance on how to sign up, and inviting children from a local school to do a play or perform choir. She also hosts Sunday School on a rotating roster basis, and helps to organise events for the children, such as discos or movie nights.
Mechell has described the feel-good feeling you get from volunteering and how appreciative the elderly people are. Mechell likes to use her knowledge of the aged care industry to provide helpful information and answer any queries they may have, especially as many of them don’t speak English well. She has built such great relationships with them and many of them treat her like she is one of their children.
When she has time outside of the church and her work with Accept Care, she likes to volunteer at her children’s school by helping chaperone excursions. She also used to be on the governing council of her children’s kindergarten when they attended. Mechell is a very friendly and caring person, which is perfect for her role of home support worker at Accept Care 😊
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our team’s volunteering activities and we encourage you to give volunteering a go.