Flexibility the key to Melissa’s Volunteerism

Volunteering for Timboon and District Healthcare Service (TDHS) provides the flexibility Melissa McKenzie is looking for to give something back to her community.

The 45 year-old Port Campbell resident signed up as a volunteer less than two years ago and now enjoys doing Meals on Wheels deliveries and being a Community Transport driver for TDHS.

“The Community Transport is really flexible. They call me up when there’s a job to do and if I can’t do it, that’s fine, they call someone else,” she said.

“I was looking for something flexible and it fits in really nicely with other things in my life which is great. “I had been in the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) and enjoyed that, but I just found it was a bit much for me. But I love volunteering, so I decided to see if there was something I could do for the hospital.

“At the moment, I’m doing Meals on Wheels once or twice a month. It’s only an hour or so each time, so I’m finding both that and the driving suits me perfectly.”

Melissa said she was finding both roles very rewarding and community members she assisted were always very appreciative.

“My mum passed away a few years ago and she used to do some Red Cross driving through the Lions Club and always said she enjoyed it,” she said.

“Now I get to help people stay in their homes for longer which is really nice…I get to be the friendly face who visits people – some of whom don’t get a lot of visitors.

“It’s really rewarding and with the Community Transport you get compensated for car expenses like fuel, so TDHS make sure you are not out of pocket.

“It’s just really rewarding, and I’d encourage anyone who wants to volunteer, and needs flexibility, to contact TDHS Community Engagement Officer Sabine McKenzie to register their interest.”

TDHS Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Van Wollingen thanks Melissa and all the volunteers without whom the organisation could not operate.

“We are constantly overwhelmed by the generosity and willingness of our volunteers to dedicate and commit themselves to TDHS and our consumers,” she said.

“Our volunteers make our community stronger, especially during times of need, crisis, or isolation. We truly are ‘Working together for a healthy community’.

“At TDHS we always welcome new volunteers. If you think that you have a few hours a month to spare and the passion to contribute and commit, please contact Sabine on (03) 5558 6000 to talk about how your experience and enthusiasm can help.”

National Volunteer Week is celebrated from May 16-22.

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