Volunteers play an important role in our community, assisting us to support older people so they can stay living independently at home for longer.
If you'd like to make a real difference to the lives of people over 65 living in your neighbourhood, we’d love to hear from you. Our friendly, dynamic team provides practical, reliable and flexible services for our clients which include:
- Outings and social events
- Assistance with transport to and from appointments
- Assistance with shopping
- Companionship and friendly visits over a cup of coffee
- Assistance in our centre groups working with people with memory loss
- Taking people to an outing of their choice
We are committed to providing quality services, and provide all our volunteers with training and regular support.
Whether it’s one day a week, one day a month, or a couple of hours a fortnight, your valuable time and friendly face will be very welcome.
Find out more about volunteering with us
Find out more about becoming a volunteer by calling us on 1300 65 88 30 or complete the form here and we'll be in touch soon.
Click here to view form.
Here's what our volunteers say...
Vikki Richards took a sea change and came to the MidCoast region six years ago, after a career in hairdressing and running a nightclub in Sydney.
Coming from Sydney's inner west, Vikki says about the only thing she misses is takeaway restaurants with home delivery! "My heart and soul is here" she says, with a twinkle in her eye.
You only need to spend 10 minutes chatting with Vikki to see that twinkle in her eye again and again, usually when she's passionate about her topic, or having some fun with you.
One thing she's very passionate about is the time she spends volunteering at MidCoast Assist with Forster - Tuncurry's older residents. "I've been volunteering here for three years now and at the moment I'm here three days a week - I love it" she says, the twinkle emerging again.
On Mondays Vikki helps out with Ladies' Day outings and she's also helps out another two days when she can at the MidCoast Assist Centre in Breese Parade Forster.
She stresses that you don’t need to volunteer as often as she does - once a week, or once a month - you can pick a level of commitment that suits you.
There's much more to volunteering at MidCoast Assist than might first meet the eye.
Vikki say she finds the life stories older people tell her fascinating. "Hearing other people's experiences, it's just so rewarding for me - the stories of how they grew up and their life experiences. "I've also learnt so much and gained so much knowledge through being here - I'm not a nurse or anything, but you learn so much here watching the MidCoast Assist staff and learning how to assist the people you are with. I also love the good company of these older people - they are living in the moment and that's a good lesson for us in today's world - it's so entertaining, the jokes they tell - it's just so much fun.
"It's not only the clients at MidCoast Assist who I count as friends - I've made some great friendships with other volunteers - and formed new social circles"
Vikki's an advocate for the health benefits volunteering can provide too: "Absolutely. If you're retired and you can spare some time - I know I feel better! I don’t have to do this - I want to".
Vikki urges others to try it out. "It can be scary to start off, but come on in and give it a go. I was nervous, but don’t worry - you can’t do the wrong thing! There are qualified staff members here to help you out all the time."
And her most cherished moment during her time volunteering with MidCoast Assist? "For me, it’s the greeting you get when people get off the bus to come in for the day - it's the best feeling.
"I'm at home here - they are like my family and they are just thrilled that someone cares about them!" The twinkle is blinding!
Imagine a quiet, steadfast, trustworthy sort of guy who you could rely on, no matter what - and you've got a picture of Alan Twemlow.
Alan retired to the MidCoast region five years ago, after working for the Department of Motor Transport and for St George Bank. He's spent most of that time volunteering - for MidCoast Assist and for Dune Care - giving back to the beautiful region and community he now calls home. "I volunteer about 30 hours every fortnight for both Dune Care and MidCoast Assist," he explains. "I'm spending one day each week outside at Boomerang Beach or Tarbuck Bay for Dune Care, and every Monday and second Friday at MidCoast Assist."
At MidCoast Assist, Alan drives buses - picking up older MidCoast residents from their homes and delivering them on social outings and to MidCoast Assist for leisure activities. "Driving the bus required a special driver's licence, and I received training for the volunteer role I'm undertaking". Driving isn't all Alan does in a day at MidCoast Assist. "I help with morning teas and lunches, and the various activities the clients might be enjoying. We also participate in the special days out, like picnics, craft and woodwork workshops, and other activities like ten pin bowling, snooker and lawn bowls" he says, with the same friendly grin he has for everyone.
"You're there to make sure people have a good time and enjoy themselves. And you're also giving their regular carers a break, secure that you're looking after their loved one really well."
Alan speaks highly of his experiences. "This keeps me active - it keeps the mind and your skills growing. The social interaction with clients is very enjoyable - it's such a nice thing to do and not stressful at all." There are big pay-offs for volunteers too, according to Alan. "If you volunteer and keep yourself active, you feel better yourself. There is a warm inner glow of satisfaction each time - that you've helped out and made a difference for someone that day."
And the challenges? Alan says not to worry too much about them. "Sometime people have a bad day, they might not want to participate in an activity. It can be a bit challenging, but we always have a qualified staff member with us on all activities, so you always have help on hand and support nearby. The MidCoast staff is professional and they are a fun bunch of people - and they always have a job to give you" he grins.
What's the highlight of volunteering at MidCoast Assist? Alan doesn’t hesitate: "it's the people you meet - they have some really good stories and really good jokes! We actually have a ball! They have lots of life experiences and you can really relate to some of those. They're good-hearted people, they don’t seem to have a worry in life - they get on with what they're doing."
His invitation is hard to resist - "come along and try it. If it's not for you, so be it, but give it a go"!