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Volunteer for your career

For National Volunteer Week this week, we’re introducing the third step in our“Let’s 5 Loneliness” campaign: Volunteer or Lend a Hand, encouraging people to support the thousands who might be still isolated or feeling the aftermath of lockdown, either informally or to volunteer in a more formal way.

The Be Someone For Someone volunteers play a pivotal role in our journey to tackling loneliness, and help us deliver meaningful programs for the community. When Andrew Wells volunteered his time to provide companionship to a senior feeling lonely, he discovered the benefits of volunteering go both ways.

"You can spend an hour with somebody, especially seniors, and you get a better perspective on life," says Andrew.

"Coming from a different era, their life experience and what they've been through makes you appreciate what you have. There's a lot to learn.

"It's also essential to show seniors that they are still important to the community and to people.

The 54-year-old has volunteered his time to Feros Care seniors since January 2019, in a program that links people with, or waiting for, a government-funded Home Care Package, with a visitor for companionship. The relationship means an otherwise isolated senior has someone for one-on-one help, in-home visits, social outings, group activities, virtual community sessions or social phone calls.

Andrew encourages others to get involved with the program.

"If you want some perspective in life, you've got to meet people and talk to them and see things from the other side," he says.

"It's a good way of opening your eyes to the other ways people live.

"We can get a little self-absorbed and be all about our own immediate families, but we're part of the world and we should try our best to play an active role in it.”

While finding times in our busy lives to volunteer can be challenging, getting behind a worthwhile cause can actually boost your career.

Gold Coast Career Development Advisor Lisa Francisco encourages everyone, young and old, to consider volunteering.

“The diversity of experiences that anyone can have on their resume is a value add,” Ms. Francisco said.

“Volunteering presents and projects to a potential employer or recruiter that you can handle change, that you’re willing to change or that your skills have been extended beyond your paid job and industry experience.”

These experiences are expected to become an increasingly valuable asset as the working landscape continues to change.

“In a time where everything is digital, employers are looking for people that engage in their community network and community volunteering, and that have value beyond just their work,”

“They are still applying really good leadership skills, communication skills, they’re able to consolidate a lot of their experiences and map out how we would respond to a certain situation or need, they’re problem solving through that, they’re being challenged”

“That’s going to carry us through any experience or change, and we can get entire workplaces involved too.”

We’re taking National Volunteer Week as a moment to celebrate all the incredible people that give their time freely to impactful projects across our whole organisation, from volunteering at the Feros CareVirtual Social Centre to co-ordinating the Be Someone For Someone‘1,000 Notes of Friendship’ campaign. As we grow, new opportunities for volunteering are appearing every day, both in business support roles and in delivering our community projects.

In fact, volunteering is such a big part of the future for Feros Care and Be Someone For Someone that we have a specialist division, “In Great Company”, to coordinate our volunteer programs.

Click here to go to the In Great Company volunteer webpage and see how you can get involved.

If you are interested in hearing more about how your organisation could become a corporate volunteering partner, please contact Jo Winwood, Head of Be Someone For Someone [email protected].

Join us in our mission to tackle the loneliness epidemic.