Let’s meet Joanne.
Hi Joanne, can you tell us a little about yourself?
My husband and I have two adult daughters. Our eldest is married, lives in rural Victoria with her husband and their two-year-old toddler. They are expecting their second child. Our youngest daughter lives and works in Melbourne. She is a registered nurse working in acute mental health care. My pastimes include golf, quilting and learning French. I am now retired (6 years), and prior to my retirement, I worked as a dietitian and senior manager in the public hospital system.
How long have you been volunteering for Stryder and what is your role and what motivates you?
I have worked for Stryder as a volunteer (part time) for the past two years. I wanted to volunteer in some community capacity once I had retired. Stryder is a local service in my own community, and I believe is a strategy that is very effective to support our older population to stay independent in their own home. I work both as a driver and as a bus assistant.
What do you see as the most important attributes needed to volunteer for Stryder?
There are a number however, understanding the needs of the older population is important and to ensure that there is caring and supportive framework to support the response from Stryder to the needs of the community wishing to access the service. Good communication skills, empathy and time management are all important skills.
What are some of the joys and challenges of supporting our clients?
There are many joys that this role provides. Most of the clients are so appreciative of the service and are very happy to provide this feedback. I enjoy hearing about their stories as we attend appointments, etc. I reflect regularly on the benefits of such as system allowing residents in the community to stay in their own home, as this in turn supports their independence and enhances health care. The challenge is supporting those residents that are becoming more physically challenged.