Like many organisations, home care and independent retirement living provider ECH would not be able to make the same difference in the lives of many without the support of its team of dedicated volunteers.
Arts, gardening, music and social groups are just some of the ECH (Enabling Confidence at Home) community engagement activities that volunteers are on hand to assist with.
ECH general manager of client experience Carolyn Dawkins said the significance of the programs were far greater than just spending an hour or two participating in an activity – it was about the friendships and fun forged along the way.
“The importance of social connections is two-way – we are providing volunteers with a sense of purpose,” Ms Dawkins said on the eve of National Volunteers Week, which runs until May 22.
“They enjoy serving the community, and they experience so much personal growth too, and the clients and members of the ECH community gain so much knowledge, skills and friendship.
“Volunteering brings real joy and shared benefit. It provides meaningful outcome, so we are extremely grateful for the kind generosity from all our volunteers.”
ECH presently has 117 volunteers but is always calling on others who are interested in giving back to the community. Current opportunities include volunteer bus drivers, friendly pet-visiting (for people who have a furry friend and would like to bring them on client visits) and walking group leaders. A new opportunity also exists in the Walking Footy program to assist setting up the games, umpiring and general support. Games are played on a Wednesday at Unley Oval.
“There is truly a role for everyone. Our volunteer lead will sit down with the interested volunteer and discuss their own skills and match them with a program where they will shine,” Ms Dawkins said.
ECH volunteer Ros Werner has been volunteering at the Halifax Café for the past two years where a range of activities, such as art, guest speakers and community conversations, are held. She said she finds joy from volunteering because it’s fun and she has the opportunity to make special connections with people.
“I love volunteering and ECH is a great organisation that really supports community activities. Everyone looks forward to meeting every Thursday,” she said.
As well as having a wide variety of volunteer roles available, these also stretch far and wide across Adelaide.
Tony Tilley has been volunteering for some time at the ECH Social Day Program at Smithfield where he has been involved in setting up a Men’s Shed, offering woodwork, gardening and more. Without his help this wouldn’t have been possible, and it has been very well received by many of the people who attend the day program.
ECH is always looking for individuals who are interested in getting involved and making a difference. For more information on volunteering opportunities, visit ech.asn.au/volunteering or call 1300 275 324.
Posted: May 19, 2022