Volunteers are happierOctober 4, 2019
Sharing the journey in Mental Health Month
Mental Health Month started this week, with the theme of Sharing the Journey: engaging in your community to increase your wellbeing. People in our community who volunteer with us report feeling positive and empowered. This article celebrates the feel-good effects of volunteering – and the wonderful JNC volunteers who make it possible for us to offer many programs and activities for the community.
“Makes me feel good about myself”
Here are some of the things our volunteers have said recently:
Anne: “Volunteering with social support for older people makes my time fly. … And I feel I’m making some small difference in people’s lives.”
Wolf: “I like helping people. It helps them have a better life, and gives them and me a reason for getting up in the morning.It helps me to be more compassionate and caring, helps me grow as a person, and makes me feel good about myself.”
Ruth: “Volunteering has helped me feel more connected … a lot closer to the community.”
Deanne: “Volunteering at JNC has enabled me to connect directly to the community and hopefully help to make it a better place by offering help to people. I feel truly appreciated by my students… as a volunteer at JNC, I have experienced great leadership and support which has led to great personal satisfaction.”
… and healthier
What our volunteers and many others like them has said reflects the findings of research. Volunteering Australia recently noted, “Volunteers are happier and healthier. They have better social networks, better wellbeing and live longer.” (Volunteering NSW, 2019).
Read this article where university experts in happiness, psychology and pharmacology explain the benefits of volunteering.
Recognising our volunteers
A couple of weeks ago our volunteers received public recognition for their commitment to the community.
On 16 September, they were honoured at the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards, City/Eastern Suburbs Regional event in Randwick.
Exciting news – our volunteer English Class tutor Linda Deutsch (pictured above) was Regional Winner in the Adult category. Congratulations, Linda – really well deserved!
The following JNC volunteers also received recognition:
Our volunteers who accompany people on bus outings – Diana Whitworth, Ann McKane, Audrey Pillay, Alan Fung, Sandra Smolka, Bruce Coyte, Ilda Migirdicyan, Geoff Hibbert and Rachel Huang
Our volunteer computer tutors: Shivagni Singh, Eloise Smith and Faezeh Kheiri
Our volunteer phone support and English conversation group tutor Deanne Chapman.
In the Seniors category: Our Tai Chi volunteer Mary Yong.
“The JNC volunteers are all so nice …“
People who participate in our programs greatly appreciate the volunteers who assist:
“I live alone and enjoy being able to leave my house and meet people. The volunteers are great and really helpful.”
“The JNC volunteers are all so nice, I can’t get my shopping without them. They are such caring people and well mannered.”
“I find my worries disappear when I come to the group. The volunteer always makes me feel special”.
“Our volunteers are so dedicated and passionate. It’s lovely to see the smiles on the faces of all the people that they interact with.”
“Our volunteers not only make a difference to individuals, but to communities as a whole.”
Exercise your volunteering strengths
Please consider becoming a JNC volunteer in your local community.
The JNC currently has an opening for a Gentle Exercise Class volunteer (in Glebe on Wednesday afternoons). More roles come up from time to time. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and see this page.
More ways to share the journey
See our Facebook page and check out this website for other ways to share the journey to mental health in October.