Uniting Volunteer Journey: Sandra

It’s National Volunteer Week. We’re celebrating our volunteers by sharing some of their stories on our website, Facebook, and Instagram.

When I tell people I volunteer with Uniting WA, the first thing they say to me is, “Oh, it must be great to give back to the community.”

But for me it’s much more than that.

I’m part of an amazing community where I get to meet and form friendships with fellow volunteers and with people supported by Uniting.

I have this great opportunity to develop my interpersonal skills and engage with people in a respectful, non-judgemental way. When I’m volunteering in Tranby, I can see the clients have a need for food and shelter – but what they seem to crave the most is for someone to talk to and listen to them, especially those experiencing loneliness and isolation.

I always say, everyone has a story that they just want to tell.

It’s just the simple things that make a difference to people – whether it’s showing that you remembered their name or finding them a clean pair of socks.

Volunteering also provides an opportunity to practice skills that I have learned at Uni, with support and training from Uniting.

I love volunteering and take my role very seriously. I feel more confident about supporting others when I finish my degree, and I have a greater awareness of the needs of the community. That’s not something that you can learn in class or from a book!

Sandra, Tranby Engagement Hub volunteer since 2020.