I have always thought it important to leave the world in a better state than how I found it, but for many years I wondered what actions I could actively take within my busy life. How funny that it was only after I had kids that I truly found my volunteering groove.
I am currently Treasurer of the soccer club, as a latecomer to football it has been quite a revelation to be involved in all the ways that I am, also a volunteer coach, not be mention being a player and referee. And most of what I want to bring to every role is enjoyment of football and the desire to keep playing. It was so exciting to be recognised for this service as a life member of my club.
I pick up the occasional extra role when time and interest allow. In 2015, I started doing some online mentoring with the Smith Family. Again, a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, but something that can fit in with the pressures of a full time job and parenting 3 kids. We can all do more than we think! Similarly, small business mentoring with the Cherie Blair Foundation was also super rewarding.
I joined the Australian Breastfeeding Association to hire a breast pump when I returned to work with my first. The pumping didn’t quite go to plan, but I did realise that ABA was a welcoming and flexible organisation that needed volunteers.
As a working mum I thought my experiences might be of assistance to other mums, so off I went. It took a while but in 2009 I finally completed my training and became a trained breastfeeding counsellor. From then until 2019 I volunteered on the National Breastfeeding Helpline, been involved in a range of activities from group to national level, including training and mentoring new volunteers in the Association and two years serving as a director on the Board.
I never had a heap of time to spare, but I loved making a difference to new mums wanting to breastfeed. It was great feeling and totally worth every minute of the commitment, but given that it is nearly 10 years since I was a breastfeeding mum myself, it was time to move on to help others who need me. Watch this space!
"Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart."