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Volunteers give the gift of time

May 20 2019

National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week is from 20 to 26 May this year. This week we celebrate and acknowledge the contributions of our volunteers who are making a world of difference.

Although finding the time in our busy lives to volunteer can be hard, the benefits are tremendous. Volunteering is a fantastic way to form new friendships, learn new skills and help others. It can also provide a sense of purpose and increase self-confidence.

This year at North Richmond Community Health we have dedicated time getting to know our community members better over a cup of tea (or other beverage), you might call this #CommuniTea. We believe sharing stories will be a source of connection, learning and inspiration for our community members.

On behalf of North Richmond Community Health, we extend a big thank you to all our volunteers for their generous gift of time and the profound impact they make on our community.

Please enjoy the #CommuniTea stories from our volunteers below.

If you would like to volunteer with us at North Richmond Community Health, please register here.

 

Student volunteer goes full circle

An afternoon hot chocolate with Homework Group volunteer Fiona

“I used to live here in Richmond. My Grandma still lives here in the commissioned flats.

It was difficult learning at home as my parents never had a formal education growing up in East Timor. I had to rely on my older sister a lot and she’s only five years older than me – she had to teach all three of us.

When I saw a volunteering opportunity for the North Richmond Community Health Homework Program in the community I grew up in, it felt perfect. It was like the next step in the cycle. I attended a similar homework program growing up and my sisters, cousins and I went every Friday night and there were high school and university students there to help us. It’s rewarding and fulfilling connecting with students who are in the same position I was in.

I’m now a second year commerce student at Melbourne University. I hope they’ll grow up and say, ‘she had an impact on me.’ It’s incredible to offer much needed services to kids who otherwise wouldn’t have that opportunity – to give them a safe place to do their homework.

Volunteer #CommuniTea North Richmond

It’s something I want to do

Coffee with medical reception volunteer Rowan

“I think it’s one of those things that helps your soul, makes you feel good, and also helps direct your life. Instead of working for a paycheck, you’re working for what you want to get out of life.

I graduated from university back home in the United States, where I met my husband who’s from Australia. I decided to make a giant life change and moved here in December 2015. Although moving here has been really hard, it’s been a blessing in disguise not staying on my career path in research. I didn’t have a tonne of time while at university. Once I had the time to slow down, I felt that volunteering was something I wanted to dedicate a decent part of my time to and it’s been rewarding.

Being in the public health sector and seeing doctors who care about people in low socio-economic groups that this centre caters to, is something I find it inspiring. It’s something I want to do.

In the United States, everything is privatised and a lot of marginalised groups don’t have access to healthcare. I believe healthcare is a basic human right so being in a place where people can afford to find help is important.

I’ve taken this year off working because I’ve applied to medical school. I’m waiting for interviews at the moment.”

Rowan #CommuniTea with volunteers at North Richmond Community Health

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