Giving the gift of time

Remember when lockdowns during COVID-19 gave us time to take a step back and really enjoy and savour the meaning of time (for some of us it even went slowly!). Now it looks like time has again become one of our most precious commodities: we never have enough and it’s going too quickly.

But what if only a little bit of precious time can change your and somebody else’s life? How much more valuable is it then? Oscar Wilde said, “The smallest act of kindness is worth more that the grandest intention.

Yesterday’s Australia Day Community Award ceremony held by the Corangamite Shire shows the importance of volunteers and how a lot of our local groups/organisations rely on this dedicated group of community members to deliver local services. However, data from the 2021 census shows volunteering has been on the decline, particularly among 15 – 24 year olds. And this is no different at Timboon and District Healthcare Service (TDHS).

“The average age of our volunteer workforce here at TDHS is over 60,” Community Engagement Officer Sabine McKenzie said. “This gap was particularly apparent when we were directed to make our volunteers aged 70 and over inactive as part of the COVID-19 restrictions.”

“And gradually, some of our older volunteers, who have dedicated decades to volunteering at our healthcare service, have come to a stage in their life where they, themselves, now require assistance from our volunteer-based services, like Meals on Wheels and Community Transport,” Sabine said. “Diversifying the volunteer age group range does not only assist in contingency planning, but every age group has their own skill set, which will assist in the consumer-centred care we deliver at our healthcare service.“

Sabine admits that healthcare might not be the first thing that our younger community members consider when thinking of volunteering, but if you are willing to give the gift of time, TDHS can work around your busy schedule and work with you and any ideas you have, to make it interesting and beneficial for all parties involved.

The motivations for becoming a volunteer can be completely different. For some, it might be wanting to contribute to the lives of others and the community; for others, it may be to improve their resume and job opportunities in the future.

Whatever reason it is, TDHS is more than happy to help you evolve and make volunteering the best experience you can have. Please contact our Community Engagement Officer Sabine McKenzie on 5558 6000 to discuss further.



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