My name is Pauline, and I am an ex-nurse. When I retired, I first volunteered at the local hospital in the Aged Care area. Then I moved on to Heathcote Food Share. I now work in our Op Shop & I love to have interaction with our valued customers. If there is any produce left over from the Food Share, I take it home to make jams and pickles etc.Then I return it to Food Share, that way food does not go to waste.

Possum has been volunteering as an L2P Driver Mentor with CHIRP since last year. L2P has been on hold during the pandemic so Possum chose to be redeployed as a phone support volunteer to one of CHIRP’s clients. Volunteers are linked with clients who are in need of some extra social interaction during this period of isolation. “We talked on the phone for the first time last week – we have loads in common!  It’s great to be part of a program which enables all those involved to reduce their experience of isolation by connecting through conversation.”

Maldon Walking Group participants at their last meeting before activities were put on hold. The volunteers who run the group are coordinating a phone tree of support amongst the participants during the coronavirus epidemic, sharing information about the evolving DHHS requirements and local supports. Volunteers are also busy organising informal volunteering activities such as delivering casseroles, arranging virtual groups, and dropping off home grown produce into letterboxes.

Volunteers have been working hard at Castlemaine Community Garden. The Autumn weather is perfect for getting outside, and looking after the community garden can be done safely and within DHHS guidelines. Food grown in the garden is used by the new Mount Alexander Community Pantry that is feeding people across the region. Keeping the community healthy and happy through volunteering.

Tzu Yun Chen, also known as Julie, is a volunteer with Kyneton Health’s Treehouse Program. She has been working closely with clients, especially Mandarin speakers, and has been able to adapt her volunteering to stay in contact online. She brings joy and connection to her clients and is a valued member of the Treehouse team.

There is a special pair of people who volunteer at the Lancefield Op Shop. Known by everyone as The Twins, these energetic and committed women have been keeping a table of books, puzzles and games available at the Op Shop.  They come and sort donations and sterilise them, making them available for people who have limited options in the Lancefield area.  We are pleased to report that the table is getting a lot of use, both with donations and people taking the items. Thank you so much for keeping Lancefield entertained during the lockdown!

Our fabulous team of volunteers at Volunteer Central Vic, photo taken last year. Emma has moved on to volunteer with other projects. She spent part of the Summer replacing burned fences with Blaze Aid and is now home with her dog, planning new adventures. Paul is sad that he had to cancel a big overseas trip – for the second time! He is looking forward to getting out in his campervan as soon as he can. Jennifer is discovering the joys of decluttering and has reclaimed the dining table for her jigsaw puzzles. Not in the photo are the gorgeous Anne-Marie who is dabbling in abstract painting, Peter D who is very happy he can now go golfing again and Peter M who is enjoying zooming with his granddaughter at storytime. We miss you all so much and can’t wait until it’s safe to get the team back together again!