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.
Ashleigh – Active Connections Program Volunteer
Why did you become a HCI volunteer?
I had heard about the amazing programs Healthy Cities Illawarra run through health subjects at university. I instantly wanted to be a part of the team to help people and gain real life health promotion skills.
How did you first get involved with Healthy Cities Illawarra?
In 2020, I became an event volunteer to help set up pop up tents to promote healthy behaviours at events. However, due to COVID-19 I didn’t start volunteering until the start of 2021, in which I became involved in the Active Connections program and have been volunteering ever since.
What has your experience as a program volunteer been like?
It has been very rewarding helping participants gain new skills, and progress their skills each week through activities such as bike riding and swimming. Additionally, I have enjoyed observing the friendships and connections being made between participants within the program and I have gained experience in communicating through language barriers.
What is the best thing about Active Connections in your perspective?
My favourite thing about Active Connections is the celebration of cultural diversity as the program brings together participants from newly immigrant countries to gain skills, friendships, and connections in the community. The program has taught me so much about cultures outside of Australia through the participants perspective and foods brought by the participants.
What would you say to anyone outside considering volunteering?
I would recommend volunteering with Healthy Cities Illawarra as it is very rewarding and fun. Volunteering has improved my communication skills as well as allowed me to form connections with participants and other volunteers.
If you’d like to volunteer with an organisation that has real impact in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven, register your interest now!