As part of National volunteering week (May 6 – 22) we are sharing stories and highlights of some of our amazing volunteers! Together, through volunteering, we are changing communities for the better. We are, Better Together.
Illan – Active In-Betweens Program Volunteer
Why did you become a HCI volunteer?
As a UOW student from Sydney, I became a HCI volunteer because I wanted to get more involved in the community here in Illawarra. After completing my first year of study online, I felt like I hadn’t formed any meaningful connections through uni. I wanted to meet and get to know fellow volunteers as well as the overall community in the Illawarra region.
How did you first get involved with Healthy Cities Illawarra?
I first found out about Healthy Cities Illawarra through the UOWx volunteer program. Having completed a unit of study at university for Health Promotion, HCI’s vision really resonated with me, and I knew being involved in promoting health in the community was something I wanted to get behind.
What has your experience as a volunteer been like?
My experience with HCI has been rewarding to say the least! I am so grateful that I feel like I am genuinely making a difference and playing a role in health promotion in the Illawarra region.
What is the best thing about being an Active In-Betweens volunteer in your perspective?
Seeing the same kids come back to the Active In-Betweens program makes me feel like we’ve achieved something. Kids not only enjoy it, but also get a learning experience too.
Moreover, knowing that I’ve helped to teach kids to be mindful of their health is what makes me want to keep coming back as a volunteer.
What would you stay to anyone outside considering volunteering?
Being a volunteer with HCI is something I tell people I do with pride. I often get asked why I bother to travel all the way down from Sydney just to do a few hours of volunteering every week – but it is so much more than that! Volunteering is an experience you cannot get elsewhere, the feeling of fulfilment, pride and gratitude make it all worthwhile. If you are thinking of volunteering with HCI, I would say don’t hesitate, just do it! I can guarantee you will not regret it.
If you’d like to volunteer with an organisation that has real impact in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven, register your interest now!