Whether it is for social connection, a desire to help others or share a passion – there are many benefits to volunteering.
Not to mention compelling evidence about the benefits. About 95 per cent of volunteers say that it improves their overall wellbeing and makes them happier. Volunteering is also associated with better mental, physical health and longevity. *
About 600 people volunteer for VMCH across 36 locations across Victoria and each week 803 of our clients and residents enjoy more activities and community connections because of our volunteers. They are crucial to our ability to deliver quality services.
We asked two of our volunteers to share their stories about why they decided to volunteer and how it has enriched their lives.
Gail Tabor is a retired Anglican Minister, she volunteers each week and enjoys meeting new people in her volunteer role.
“The saying is: ‘you’re more blessed to give than to receive’. Anything that we can do for others makes the other person happy, but yourself happy as well,” Gail says.
Gail lives at our Shanagolden retirement community in Pakenham, and she visits the neighbouring aged care residence for a few hours each week to sit with residents, talk to them and keep them company.
“There is a pleasure in meeting new people and hearing their stories. I receive as much as they hopefully receive from me. You meet such interesting people. It’s a sharing, it’s building relationships,” she said.
Michael Bodey worked in administration and accounts before he retired early due to health reasons. He also lives at our Shanagolden Retirement Village.
He says that volunteering has been a great way to stay busy rather than dwelling on his own health problems.
“It takes your mind away from your illness and you can focus on other people rather than focusing on yourself which sometimes can make the problem worse,” he said.
“It does make you happy (volunteering). Just being involved is great, rather than stepping back. Rather than dwell on your own problems just getting involved in things and helping people out. I think it’s the key.”
Each Monday he visits the aged care residence to run bingo and also a meditation class. He enjoys the interaction with different people and making others happy.
“I enjoy helping people out and putting a smile on people’s face. They’re happy to see me and I’m happy to see them.”
Volunteer with us!
VMCH Volunteer Services Manager, Bronwyn Summers, said volunteers do everything from teach line dancing, run craft classes, provide friendship and practical support.
“Our volunteers give meaning and purpose to the lives of the people we support, and we hope that it is reciprocated for our volunteers as well,” she said.
“We welcome volunteers from all walks of life who share our values, have time, energy, flexibility, patience and a sense of humour, who would like to be part of a team and make a huge difference,” she said.
If you would like to learn more about volunteer opportunities call our friendly volunteer services team on 1800 036 377 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
*Source: Volunteering Victoria Information Sheet