PAOLA Galletly says being a volunteer with the House with No Steps (HWNS) has been a very positive experience for her.
“Once a week I spend time with one particular person,” she said. “I look forward to our time together. It’s a highlight for me.”
HWNS supports thousands of people with a disability throughout NSW, offering employment, education, training, accommodation and social programs.
Ms Galletly decided to try out as a volunteer after seeing an advertisement in the South Coast Register about a year ago which called for people to work with those with a disability.
“I know I wanted to contribute something to my community. I wanted to spend my time usefully,” she said.
Ms Galletly thinks volunteer work is something people should do if they are given the opportunity.
“I was looking for work when I first volunteered, but now that I have a job I still spend time once a week with my friend.”
She said she and her friend might go to the football, or shopping, or go for a walk or sometimes just sit and talk.
“She is quite self-sufficient, and enjoys company.”
She said her time as a volunteer had helped her understand how important it is to consult with people with a disability.
“Volunteer work with HWNS has made me step outside of my comfort zone; before this I had not had much to do with people with a disability.”
Volunteer co-ordinator for HWNS Wendy Ford said the Shoalhaven needed more volunteers like Ms Galletly.
“We don’t advertise that often, but we’re always looking for help.”
Ms Ford said some volunteers work one-on-one with people with a disability, others with more than one, and some worked in a group environment.
“We would like people to think about donating some of their time to help us out. It’s a fulfilling experience for the volunteers.”
Ms Ford said May 12-18 was National Volunteers Week and a good time for people to consider helping out.
Anyone wanting more information about the House with No Steps or about volunteering with the organisation can contact Ms Ford on 4221 0300, or visit www.hwns.com.au/volunteers.