JNC 45 years 45 storiesJuly 17, 2019
Here’s Story 6 in our JNC 45 Years 45 Stories series to celebrate the work of The JNC. As we celebrate 45 years of working in our communities, we are pleased to be sharing the stories of the experiences of 45 of the few thousand people we work with each year. Read about the difference The JNC has made in their lives.
We hope you enjoy these stories over the next few months. Read below stories 1-5 of JNC 45 Stories, and The JNC’s history.
6 – Theo’s story
Theo has been blind for five decades. He lives independently, and to support his independence he has accessed The JNC’s Individual Social Support service since April 2008. He is a keen cook and cooks regularly for his family and friends, goes for at least two walks a day with his guide dog, stays fits and eats well. Together with The JNC he does his shopping and banking, cooks, and cares for his dog.
Theo says, “The JNC’s social support service has been like manna from heaven, it facilitates my existence. It has given me lots of confidence and allows me to contribute to my own upkeep.”
5 – Deanne’s story
Volunteering has enabled me to connect directly to the community and hopefully help to make it a better place by offering help to people. At The JNC, I volunteer as an English Conversation Class tutor and with the Phone Support service. Phone support is for our older clients who access our social support service fortnightly, to ensure they have continuity of service weekly.
I feel truly appreciated by my English Conversation Class students. They constantly tell me that they are learning more English than ever and that they are having fun in class.
Some members of the group cook treats for the class as they feel a sense of wellbeing and belonging. The feeling is very infectious; they feel positive and so do I.
My phone support groups can be really distressing and also very uplifting. Some of the people I speak to haven’t had contact with another person for days and they are so appreciative to be heard.
I also really enjoy the team at The JNC and appreciate the sense of trust that they offer to me personally. As a Volunteer at JNC, I have experienced great leadership and support, which has led to great personal satisfaction.
4 – Tracey and Janice’s story
I didn’t know about the service and how many loving people there are at The JNC. But since I started with them, I’ve never looked back.
Before The JNC, I had to do the shopping every day, manage the trolley. We went out for family events, but not on outings. Now I go on outings with them and have the shopping service.
They encouraged us to use other services as well, to help with household duties and organisation.
Mum comes out with me to the group outing and this has been wonderful for her as everyone is so nice and it gets her out of the house. We’ve made friends, and we know in 5 years’ time we’ll still be friends because they’re all nice people.
The JNC means the world to me. Everybody treats me with dignity and is so kind.
Life is easier now. We feel a hundred per cent better.
3 – Kevin’s story
I am the volunteer Justice of the Peace for The JNC. I offer my regular Tuesday service at The JNC’s centre in Maroubra.
For me, having meaningful work is very important. I have a double Master’s Degree in Accounting and Information Services, a Diploma in Counselling and a Diploma in Library Services. I was working with an FCPA qualification until I contracted a serious illness, with long term effects on my health. This impacted on my ability to find work. It’s very hard to get a job. Employers aren’t keen to employ people with a disability. But if I have a job I can find my value.
Volunteering with The JNC gives me a chance to meet people and contribute to the community. I can give value to the community. It gives me some purpose and keep me busy. It keeps me safe and I know someone will check on me if I don’t arrive at The JNC.
And I feel part of the team. The staff make volunteers feel welcome. They provide resources and help me plan the day by telling me who has called about coming in.
These days there are not many JPs, and many people need them. So, people see me offering my service and they feel very happy — and then I feel happy!
2 – Lee’s story
I have been volunteering at The JNC’s centre in Bondi Junction since 2015.
I look forward to Mondays, where anyone can pop in for a cuppa. There’s Gardening group and we colour in mandalas and play games.
I love Thursdays, when I have a Beading group. We have a singalong, discuss all sorts of things. Also Knitting group: we learn, have a laugh and great company!
I very much enjoy my work interacting with people of all sorts of ages, culture and stories. So much learning from each other and kindness and help from everyone, staff and volunteers!
1 – Jeanalyn’s story
How The JNC made a difference to me:
I have been with The JNC’s Family Support program for over a year.
Just over 12 months ago I gave birth to my first child. Being from overseas I had no family and only a few friends in Australia. I was a single mother and felt very much alone.
I was given The JNC’s number. I was more than pleasantly surprised at The JNC staff’s level of empathy, care and kindness.
They supported me and also referred me to a service where I was given clothes, pram, a bassinet, car seat, cot plus other baby items to get me started as a new mum.
I appreciate and thank The JNC for the guidance, advice and support they have shown and given me – the support needed to get through a difficult time in my life.
I got through those dark days and know The JNC helped make that possible.
I am so glad I was given JNC’s number. I hope one day I can repay their kindness. Happy 45th Birthday JNC. I hope you have many more! Jeanalyn, JNC 45 #1
JNC 45 years 45 stories
THE JNC 45 years ago was begun as a great idea, with humble beginnings, by a group of very dedicated and feisty women volunteers who were concerned about poverty, loneliness and disadvantage and the shortage of welfare services in the Randwick LGA.
Joined by the Methodist Church in Maroubra and by Randwick Council in 1974, these volunteers started CHARM, the Community Help Association of Randwick Municipality, which has been providing information, support, social inclusion activities and locally driven services since then.
Over the years CHARM, which became RICC (Randwick Information and Community Centre) and then The JNC, moved to different homes, and provided different services, all targeted at vulnerable people in our community, and responding to different needs in the community. In more recent years our work has been taken into other local communities across Eastern Sydney.
The organisation grew over the decades and attracted funding for a wide range of services, but kept its focus on local services. A recurring theme throughout the these four and half decades is the role volunteers have played and still play, in our social justice based work and our increasingly person directed services.
We ask ourselves ‘what difference have we made?’ and it is rewarding when we reflect on that and hear people’s stories. Over 45 years, the tireless work of volunteers, the inspiration of those who have been on our Board, the passionate staff who have come with inspiration and ideas have brought us to where we are today, and to be better at being able to demonstrate the differences we made in people’s lives.
– Janet Green, General Manager, The Junction Neighbourhood Centre