Young volunteers make difference

Young volunteers are making a difference to patients and clients at Benalla Health. Volunteer coordinator Rosemary Teasdale said that while many of her volunteers were retired, more young people were realising the benefits of giving their time.

“We often find that young people really want to contribute to their community and because we have so many volunteering options at Benalla Health across a variety of areas, it is great opportunity to get involved,” she said.

Mrs Teasdale said one example was Rachael Johnston, who volunteered for four months in the speech pathology area of community health, giving her valuable career experience.

 “I had studied a Bachelor of Health Science (speech pathology) at Charles Sturt University and received a scholarship through Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH),” Ms Johnston said.

“I decided to volunteer at Benalla Health before moving into paid employment.

“Doing the volunteering gave me more confidence, practical experience and access to speak with experienced professionals.

“Because I could put down on my resume that I had volunteered, I was able to demonstrate I had initiative, enthusiasm and drive, making me more employable.”

Rachael said the experience was wonderful.

“It gave me a fuller overview, insight and understanding of what the career involved,” she said.

“I have a desire to assist others in this area and I was able to give back to the community, which is a great feeling.

“I also gained confidence in my skills as a speech pathologist and learned how to communicate better with other health care professionals.

“There was also the access to resources and information.

Rachael is now working with children, helping them with speech, language, fluency and voice difficulties and hostel clients who are experiencing communication and swallowing difficulties.

“I would really recommend Benalla Health to people who are looking to volunteer, particularly younger people, as it has a friendly environment and the staff are always willing to share their expertise and knowledge.

“It is a great opportunity to further develop your skills and different perspectives of the discipline.

“My time at Benalla Health was an invaluable experience.”


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