National Volunteers Week is an opportunity to celebrate our remarkable volunteers at Silverchain who support our clients to live independently in their own homes in Western Australia. They provide extra support and companionship, spend quality time, assist with food preparation, and transport to our social centres. Some even operate community transport buses or teach older people how to use the latest technology to stay in touch with friends and family.
Social centre volunteer Katherine Ho helps volunteers at Silverchain's Pendana Social Centre in Bentley.
“I enjoy meeting with the Monday social group clients and sharing experiences. With the programs and facilities of the centre, I can see the clients enjoy their time and involvement, and I feel happy to assist them in achieving their expectations,” Ms Ho said.
“I have learnt more from the clients about their needs and have learnt more skills and techniques to deal with them. I can see they enjoy the programmes and activities set up by the centre, although it is an amazingly simple exercise, they are glad to participate and get involved.”
Nancy Coston, a client who receives online and technical support within her home from Silverchain volunteers, recently wrote to Silverchain about her experience.
“I am writing to thank you and let you know how much I am enjoying the tech support program,” Ms Coston said.
“When I was first offered the opportunity to join, I needed very basic help to use my mobile and iPad better. With my very kind and patient volunteer teacher I can do things I never would have known about.
“I am using my emails, can find helpful information with Apps on the iPad, and use my calendar.
Silverchain Care Team Leader Tinika Dykstra said that she had seen an increase in clients’ confidence using technology.
“The program increases their socialisation as they learn to video call their family or friends, making them feel less isolated,” Ms Dykstra said.
“We are grateful for the volunteers and the program they run as sometimes it is the little things that go a long way.”
Tech support volunteer Fiona Blake said she volunteers for many reasons, including learning about people.
“It all comes down to being with people and helping them in some way with the skills and knowledge I have but also have a chance to learn more through training courses,” Ms Blake said.
“By volunteering at Silverchain, there has been plenty of opportunity to gain more knowledge with online courses.
“Meeting my first clients, Mr and Mrs Caporn has been a joy and something I look forward to each week. They have made me feel so welcome in their home, and they are so friendly and interested in what we do together.
“There are plenty of laughs, and we often have to give something a go just to see if it works, which can be a hoot. I never feel under pressure to know everything.”
Mrs Caporn said they were very fortunate to have a Silverchain volunteer to help improve their computer skills each week.
“We find it especially helpful that Fiona is prepared to come to our home and work with each of us individually where the computers and printer are set up. The one-on-one help meets our individual needs, at our own pace and at home,” Mrs Capon said.
Silverchain offers a range of volunteer roles that can be matched to your skills and interests. You do not need a formal qualification to make a lasting impact in our clients’ lives.
If you would like to know more information about volunteer opportunities at Silverchain or to register your interest, email email@example.com.