Image by Philip Bohle
Volunteering is a selfless act that can positively impact lives, not only for those being helped but for the volunteers too. Following his retirement 13 years ago, Ron began volunteering as a way to give back to his Devonport community.
Volunteering not only benefits those in need but also offers a sense of purpose and fulfillment to the volunteers themselves. Ron’s story reminds us that, no matter our age or background, we all have the potential to make a difference in the lives of others through acts of kindness and service.
Giving Back to Community
Ron lived a corporate life for 40 years before his retirement. With a desire to make a positive impact on the lives of others, he decided to explore opportunities where he could use his skills and time effectively. A community care facility in north western Tasmania provided the ideal platform for him to do just that. The organisation offers various services, including transport, home maintenance, and domestic assistance, catering to individuals who often rely on them as their only means of support.
“I may be a little bit older, but I’m doing something important”
Dedication and Contribution
Ron’s dedication to volunteering didn’t start with community care. He had been involved in various volunteer roles since his mid-20s. He worked with various organisations in the community sector, each offering him the chance to contribute. His current role has been one of his most extended volunteer experiences, spanning over a decade.
“I think it’s a wonderful thing… I can elect how much I do, how many times I want to go. The beauty of it is that you’re out and about.”
Finding Purpose in Volunteering
When asked about the motivation behind his choice to volunteer, Ron reflects on the profound sense of purpose and fulfillment he derives from helping others. He believes in the value of human connection and the impact it can have on the lives of those in need. For many of the clients he assists, volunteers in community care can be the only source of social interaction, making the role they play even more critical.
“Everybody’s important, everybody’s got a role to play”
Image by Philip Bohle
Challenges, Training and Duty of Care
Volunteering often comes with its unique set of challenges, and Ron is no stranger to them. While he has a natural inclination towards people and empathy, he acknowledges that some volunteers may find it challenging to deal with certain situations or adapt to the demands of the role. For Ron, the biggest challenge lies in dealing with unpredictable road conditions and the behaviour of other drivers while transporting clients. The safety and well-being of those under his care are his utmost priority.
Ron values the importance of thorough training and compliance with regulations in volunteer work. In his current role, he underwent an induction process, including road tests and observations to ensure he was well-prepared for his responsibilities. Working with vulnerable people also necessitates police checks and certifications to guarantee the safety of all involved.
“I think we never stop learning. Every day we learn something new”
The Rewarding Aspects of Volunteering
For Ron, the most rewarding aspect of volunteering is the opportunity to be with people and make a meaningful difference in their lives. Listening to the stories and experiences of clients, he has learned the value of human connection and the power of empathy. Through his role as a volunteer, he has witnessed clients finding solace and comfort in sharing their stories and experiences, and in some cases, overcoming challenges through support and understanding.
“I could sit at home, watch the big flat screen TV and drink lattes, but that’s not really healthy. So I went and got introduced and it was a wonderful lot of people, very welcoming”
Fostering Friendships and Opportunities
Ron actively promotes the organisation’s services and encourages individuals to explore volunteering opportunities. He believes that fostering connections, whether through offering ideas for social interaction, offering assistance with reading and writing, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee with like-minded individuals, can transform lives and create lasting friendships.
His dedication, compassion and willingness to give back to society serve as an inspiration to us all.
Our sincere thanks to Ron for his contribution to Work with Purpose. To find out more about working in disability access an information guide here.
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