Big thanks to the team that produced our latest News4Me newsletter.
We hope you enjoy.
Lyn Margetts – collecting her hot meal
The Laneway – Cafe without Borders meal program is growing and its service is helping keep older people independent in their own homes for longer. We even over work experience students opportunity to accompany staff on delivery rounds – excellent opportunities to practice English and customer service skills – while clients can understand and see the social enterprise concept as a genuine and valuable entity. This service is also a lovely ‘dinner at home’ alternative for busy families.
Lyn Margetts moved from Haven into the Wimmera Lodge Retirement Village some 5 years ago. She has enjoyed her time at the Village with ‘time passing very quickly’. She takes a drive on a weekly basis however the cooking of meals is becoming a bit of a chore.
Lyn orders meals delivered to her door a couple of times each week. She ‘loves the soups and sweets (with) pumpkin soup one of her favourites’. Lyn use to make this a lot, however now the lifting of heavy saucepans is too much for her.
‘The volunteers knock on my door and the meals are placed on my walker for easy access’. I love having a hot meal prepared for me, especially the roasts and veggies as I don’t cook roasts for myself anymore’.
Volunteering is core to our work at the Centre for Participation. We help recruit, train and support quality volunteers, and develop volunteer management systems for organisations that make the process simple. Notably, a very important part of our work is to train and support volunteer managers and coordinators.
Volunteering is activism and although you may not see yourself as a Greta Thunberg or part of Extinction Rebellion, if you are volunteering you are an activist. The word “activism” means to be involved, engaged, and doing good. The same as making a difference; giving back to the community, self-development and meeting new people are just some of the reasons why people say they want to volunteer.
Volunteers make a difference!
It could be making an extra batch of biscuits that is dropped off, with a list of ingredients, to be presented to palliative care patients and their families, or to support your child’s school fundraising drive. Or supporting through time and effort at a conference to bring Indigenous women together so they can connect and tell their stories of the work they do in the remote far north.
What about planting native trees to encourage the native birds, animals, and insects to continue to survive? Or serving on a board or committee, perhaps delivering a meal to an isolated elderly person, or supporting sports events by helping with first aid.
The actions you take as a volunteer, whether large or small, is activism that makes a positive difference to the resilience of our community. So how do you get involved? What skills might be useful?
Relevant skills could include administrative skills; computing; business skills (e.g. accounting); marketing; social media; and other technological skills. Remember, too, that personal interests or hobbies are also important in helping you decide which volunteering role would suit you best.
After undertaking our Introduction to Volunteering workshop, staff at CfP will make a time to meet with you and discuss volunteer positions available, noting your skills, interests and hobbies in order to match you to the best volunteering position.
Volunteers support many other programs: a meal delivery program and skills training. The former has students involved in food prep and getting out and about in the community, which is particularly valuable for English skills, while the latter has a small business component – counting money, prep, and packing.
One of the students, Maryann has come a long way – literally. Originally from the Philippines, her husband died and she needed to support her three children. With little English and no work experience to speak of, she enrolled in the Centre for Participation’s hospitality course. It has been a fruitful exercise.
She has found happiness in building friendships and connections. “I feel connected with people,” Maryann said. “I feel useful, growing, happy to find work.”
Not only has Maryann’s language capability improved, being connected to the Centre for Participation has enabled her to work on achieving her Australian driving license. “I could drive on highway!” she happily said. “I will be able to do things on my own, support myself and be with more people.”
Her hard work and diligence have paid off. Maryann sometimes helps out with meal deliveries but her dream is to cook more. Either way, she loves the people and is quietly very proud of what she has achieved.
Please consider joining our active volunteers. Your lived experience is of value to us and the community. Want more information? Find out here
On the 25th of June we said farewell to Julie Pettett after 9 years leading our organisation. There are plenty of sad hearts, but we know she will do an amazing job in her role leading in Gladstone, Queensland. Best of Luck Julie!
We are also pleased to introduce our new look Centre for Participation newsletter.
The aim of “News4Me” is to provide you with an insight into some of our work and programs that benefit our rural region.
The Centre for Participation say a big thank you to volunteers across Western Victoria for being the ‘heartbeat’ of our communities.
National Volunteer Week is the annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers. At this uncertain time we feel that it is more important than ever to recognise and acknowledge Australia’s volunteers.
National Volunteer Week begins Monday May 18 and runs until Sunday 24 May. This years theme is ‘Changing Communities. Changing Lives’. ‘It’s a time when we tip our collective hats and say thank you for the tireless, wonderful work of volunteers in our communities,’ said Julie Pettet, CEO at the Centre for Participation.
As a mark of thanks, the Centre for Participation and the Volunteer Coordinators Network have published a series of postcards. WRSA Female Administrators Network, Edenhope Memorial Hospital, Horsham Rural City Council, Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN, Rural Northwest Health, West Wimmera Shire Council, Emma Kealy’s Office and Grampians Community Health have joined us to send postcards to volunteers across our communities.
Join the celebration on Zoom…
We invite volunteers from across the Wimmera to come together at 10am on Friday 22 May for an online morning tea to celebrate volunteers.
If you would like to join in, call 5382 5607 or email info@centreforparticipation to get a Zoom link and password.
If you want to volunteer but don’t know where to start, Julie Pettett, CEO of the Centre for Participation in Horsham has a few ideas to help you on your way.
> Follow your passion – you’ll be happier and more effective volunteering in something you love
> Know what you want out of it – to meet people? change the world? care for animals? share skills? get a job?
> Contact Centre for Participation or a community group near you, to match your skills and needs, with volunteering vacancies
We have just 3 questions for you, and you don’t have to answer them all.
Ask us anything! We are here to help.
Find out more about how you can participate in ways that suit you.