The Centre for Volunteering

A repository of bits and pieces we find across the web on the topic of volunteering that we'd like to share

Australia Day Message from Twelve Year Old in NSW’s Mid North Coast

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School Captain of Wingham Public School for 2013, 12-year-old Nash McPherson will start high school this year and enter into a new phase of his life.

As part of the Australia Day ceremony in Central Park, Nash gave a heart warming speech. The audience was held in rapt attention and we felt moved to share an excerpt of Nash’s speech:

"I am so proud to be an Australian! When writing this speech I started to look at other countries around the world, searching for what it is that makes Australia the country I am lucky to call home.

I am lucky to live in a country of volunteers. Every year we see the effect of natural disasters, be it fire, flood, extreme heat or wind. And every single year we see the thousands of people out on the streets in the frontlines fighting and protecting us for as long as it takes. We see people give water to a thirsty koala in a bushfire, spend 20 hours a day protecting their neighbour’s house from destruction, offering first aid to the hurt, their homes to the homeless and the food and clothing on their backs to the hungry and afraid. Growing up in this culture means that helping another has become second nature to me and my family, because that is what it means to be an Australian.

It is my wish that every single day we stop for a minute and just remember how lucky we are. That we have rights where others have none, that we have a lifestyle that is envied the world over and a country so beautiful it remains in your heart forever.”

See the full article at http://www.winghamchronicle.com.au/story/2050525/australia-day-nash-is-proud-to-live-in-australia/

Betty Makin Youth Awards in Sydney LGA

The Betty Makin Youth Awards aims a recognizing the positive contributions made by young people and the community that supports them. There are three categories to nominate someone within the Sydney community…. The three categories are:

  • Individual/Group award
  • Youth worker award
  • Police award

Hurry, nominations close Friday the 28th of February.

For more info or to nominate go to City of Sydney website

Later in the year The Centre for Volunteering will once again be running the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards, with a special category for Youth Volunteer of the Year. Please start thinking about who you would like to nominate in this category.

To read about last year’s winners you can go to the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards website

Here’s to recognising and celebrating the great work done by youth in our communities!

Youth Volunteers.. providing new perspectives

Meet Barbara Berman, Volunteer Coordinator at Twilight Aged Care and a wonderful advocate for youth volunteering.


“[young people] have an energy that they bring with them, and they have a new perspective on the world…” – Barbara Berman

Who is Barbara Berman? Barbara is the Volunteer Coordinator for Twilight Aged Care. She oversees the four different Twilight Aged Care houses in Beecroft, Gordon, Gladesville and Mosman. Twilight Aged Care works mostly with (but not limited to) high care aged people who are unable to live on their own as they do not have the capacity to look after themselves. This can be due to physical disabilities, mental health issues and dementia. Barbara has also previously worked with Montefiore Home and the Exodus Foundation.

Barbara’s take on young people and volunteering Barbara sees young people as ‘the carers of the future’. Barbara believes in linking young people with aged care organisations and considers it mutually beneficial for both the young person and the residents of Twilight. Barbara describes watching a relationship develop between two residents and a young volunteer from a deaf and blind school. Originally hesitant, the young volunteer developed great relationships with the residents who ended up becoming her mentors and being quite protective of her. This according to Barbara is a great example of a win-win volunteer situation, and an awesome volunteer experience. Barbara has a firm belief in equal opportunity and not denying anyone a volunteer opportunity based on their age, or any other factor. Barbara has taken on volunteers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

Barbara’s tips for organisations “Be open to diversity and support your volunteer coordinator”. Barbara believes that organisations should support the ideas of volunteer coordinators as long as they represent a viable option. According to Barbara organisations should also support volunteer coordinators in forming relationships with schools and going out to talk to young people. “The biggest PR machines are the students and volunteers”, she says. Barbara’s tips for engaging young people For Barbara it is important that everyone within the organisation be well connected. For Twilight Aged Care, this means that there needs to be a strong connection between the volunteer coordinator, recreational activity officers and diversional therapists. The organisation also needs to think strongly about why they want to get young people involved. All outcomes (both good and bad) need to be considered and all supporting staff members have to back the program 100% for it to run effectively. All staff members involved should also be educated on how to engage with young volunteers in a meaningful and suitable way. Barbara on ‘why is youth volunteering important’ “They have an energy that they bring with them, and they have a new perspective on the world…”

For more information on youth volunteering please contact youth@volunteering.com.au

Betty’s Story “Now why are you interviewing me? What’s all the fuss about; I’ve done nothing but live my life!” these words spoken in a beautiful English elegance all of its own mystified me. This outstanding woman whom I’d heard so much about wondering why she was so special! Well after a mere hour of chatting with her, I knew she was most definitely an amazing woman. Not only has she made it through to an astonishing ninety-nine years of age and is still going strong, but she has shown throughout these years a remarkable and continuing passion for helping others. This kindness for others shown through her countless years of nursing, and dedication to ‘mothercraft’ where helping new mothers adapt to the pressure of the great depression whilst raising a new born was so desperately needed; as well as volunteering with Wesley Dalmar house and even now at the Wesley Rayward centre in Carlingford.
 
Born 1914 in England, Betty was surrounded with family and friends. She came to Australia and proudly lived through the great depression. She professed to live a simple life in depression, everybody was the same, and each maintained a veggie patch sharing what was needed. War was rarely mentioned in her community. As a child she was given 24 pennies’ a week; with a very matter of fact tone she stated “if you didn’t have two pennies left for the train you’d walk to school!” A sacrifice she made quite often, ice-cream being the more important expense than transport! 
 
She spoke candidly of her work as a nurse at the Prince Henry Hospital during the War, her time there being referred to as ‘four years hard labour’; although a few stories did leave a smile on her face. Many nights she woke to see a ring of “big ugly toads” (spoken with absolute disgust) surrounding the camp light, “I didn’t want to wake anyone so I kept my screams inside!” she joked causally. Betty also studied obstetrics at King George hospital, adding to her countless years and practically a lifetime of helping mothers, babies and children alike. Helping others is clearly in her blood, her father a soldier, also trained young men at university for the battlefront; and her brother who also shared this love for helping others; a fifth year medical student until he was tragically taken by pneumonia at twenty three years of age. 
 She described her life as being ‘beautifully simple’; her kind and dedicated nature something often seen by others but so modestly denied in her own words. As a young woman she described memories of an adventurist lifestyle; she lived and breathed the hospital life but in spare moments loved to get out and about with friends. Betty climbed a then trackless Cradle Mountain in her mothers’ shoes, although too big she wore thick socks to make up the size difference. An Australian at heart, she frankly said “I don’t mind being poor in Australia but I shall not be poor AND cold in England!”
 
Once married in her early thirties, Betty settled down to start a family with her soul mate, George. I asked of memories of her husband George; of whom she effortlessly spoke of with words so clearly taken from a memory well passed in time; tainted with a heart heavy from a love now lost from her side. Sharing the sweet story of how they first met, having their beautiful children and countless years of bliss together as a family. Once their children were all grown up, Betty and George moved to the Alan Walker Village; the Wesley Mission Aged care facility in Carlingford. She proudly notes she and George were the fourth to occupy a unit, and George was the first male resident of the Alan Walker Village! Once settled in, Betty decided to put all efforts into volunteering with the children of Wesley Dalmar House; during the mid 80’s she volunteered at ‘the library’, the old dairy now converted into study hall for the children at Dalmar. Each child received a tutor in the hall and was given one on one help with homework, study, as well as art class, sewing skills and other activities; Betty describes her time there as “a friendly simple thing”. She was fondly known by the children as Aunty Betty 2 alongside her good friend Aunty Betty 1. She continued her voluntary service for almost ten years until all the children were living out of Dalmar house and the program had closed.  
 
Betty continues volunteering with Wesley Mission to this day; she still lives very close by in the Alan Walker village and comes over to the Wesley Rayward to play scrabble and help the residents with their skills. It may not seem like much but this simple effort brings so much joy to the residents’ hearts; allowing them not only an afternoon of fun but someone to talk to, someone to listen to their stories and share in their lives.
 
I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to meet Betty; my time with her was most certainly not long enough to comprehend her amazing life of service, kindness and dedication to helping others. Thank you for sharing your story Betty!

By Shannon Barsby
Administration Assistant
Wesley Volunteering

Betty’s Story

“Now why are you interviewing me? What’s all the fuss about; I’ve done nothing but live my life!” these words spoken in a beautiful English elegance all of its own mystified me. This outstanding woman whom I’d heard so much about wondering why she was so special! Well after a mere hour of chatting with her, I knew she was most definitely an amazing woman. Not only has she made it through to an astonishing ninety-nine years of age and is still going strong, but she has shown throughout these years a remarkable and continuing passion for helping others. This kindness for others shown through her countless years of nursing, and dedication to ‘mothercraft’ where helping new mothers adapt to the pressure of the great depression whilst raising a new born was so desperately needed; as well as volunteering with Wesley Dalmar house and even now at the Wesley Rayward centre in Carlingford.

 

Born 1914 in England, Betty was surrounded with family and friends. She came to Australia and proudly lived through the great depression. She professed to live a simple life in depression, everybody was the same, and each maintained a veggie patch sharing what was needed. War was rarely mentioned in her community. As a child she was given 24 pennies’ a week; with a very matter of fact tone she stated “if you didn’t have two pennies left for the train you’d walk to school!” A sacrifice she made quite often, ice-cream being the more important expense than transport!

 

She spoke candidly of her work as a nurse at the Prince Henry Hospital during the War, her time there being referred to as ‘four years hard labour’; although a few stories did leave a smile on her face. Many nights she woke to see a ring of “big ugly toads” (spoken with absolute disgust) surrounding the camp light, “I didn’t want to wake anyone so I kept my screams inside!” she joked causally. Betty also studied obstetrics at King George hospital, adding to her countless years and practically a lifetime of helping mothers, babies and children alike. Helping others is clearly in her blood, her father a soldier, also trained young men at university for the battlefront; and her brother who also shared this love for helping others; a fifth year medical student until he was tragically taken by pneumonia at twenty three years of age.


She described her life as being ‘beautifully simple’; her kind and dedicated nature something often seen by others but so modestly denied in her own words. As a young woman she described memories of an adventurist lifestyle; she lived and breathed the hospital life but in spare moments loved to get out and about with friends. Betty climbed a then trackless Cradle Mountain in her mothers’ shoes, although too big she wore thick socks to make up the size difference. An Australian at heart, she frankly said “I don’t mind being poor in Australia but I shall not be poor AND cold in England!”

 

Once married in her early thirties, Betty settled down to start a family with her soul mate, George. I asked of memories of her husband George; of whom she effortlessly spoke of with words so clearly taken from a memory well passed in time; tainted with a heart heavy from a love now lost from her side. Sharing the sweet story of how they first met, having their beautiful children and countless years of bliss together as a family. Once their children were all grown up, Betty and George moved to the Alan Walker Village; the Wesley Mission Aged care facility in Carlingford. She proudly notes she and George were the fourth to occupy a unit, and George was the first male resident of the Alan Walker Village! Once settled in, Betty decided to put all efforts into volunteering with the children of Wesley Dalmar House; during the mid 80’s she volunteered at ‘the library’, the old dairy now converted into study hall for the children at Dalmar. Each child received a tutor in the hall and was given one on one help with homework, study, as well as art class, sewing skills and other activities; Betty describes her time there as “a friendly simple thing”. She was fondly known by the children as Aunty Betty 2 alongside her good friend Aunty Betty 1. She continued her voluntary service for almost ten years until all the children were living out of Dalmar house and the program had closed. 

 

Betty continues volunteering with Wesley Mission to this day; she still lives very close by in the Alan Walker village and comes over to the Wesley Rayward to play scrabble and help the residents with their skills. It may not seem like much but this simple effort brings so much joy to the residents’ hearts; allowing them not only an afternoon of fun but someone to talk to, someone to listen to their stories and share in their lives.

 

I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to meet Betty; my time with her was most certainly not long enough to comprehend her amazing life of service, kindness and dedication to helping others. Thank you for sharing your story Betty!

By Shannon Barsby

Administration Assistant

Wesley Volunteering

A visit from the Korean Association of Social Workers with our Research & Policy Manager, Tony Frew 17/11/2013 #latergram #socialwork  (at The Centre For Volunteering)

A visit from the Korean Association of Social Workers with our Research & Policy Manager, Tony Frew 17/11/2013 #latergram #socialwork (at The Centre For Volunteering)

Hello! Welcome to our Instagram account! happy New Year from the team at the centre. (at The Centre For Volunteering)

Hello! Welcome to our Instagram account! happy New Year from the team at the centre. (at The Centre For Volunteering)

Young People and Volunteering

Why do you volunteer? Is it because you’re deeply passionate about a certain cause? Maybe your friend got you involved or it’ll look good on your resume?

Check out what Do Something Near You has to say!