“The students let me share their world”: National Volunteer Week with Robyn
This year, National Volunteer Week is Monday 17 May until Sunday 23 May. It’s a time to celebrate the contribution of volunteers, share their efforts and promote the vital service that volunteers provide. Let’s shine a light on the amazing work volunteers do in our communities and acknowledge this year’s theme: Recognise. Reconnect. Reimagine.
For over a year, Robyn has been volunteering every Wednesday at STEPS Pathways College and supporting young people with a disability and autism.
She loves working with the students and assisting them in developing skills so they can live more independently.
Robyn recently retired from a nursing career she loved and wanted a volunteer role that she felt had purpose.
“I’ve been nursing all my life, I left school when I was sixteen and started nursing,” she said.
When she thinks back to that time in her life of early adulthood, when she was first establishing her independence, she realises she had no idea about budgeting.
“We lived from fortnight to fortnight back in my early days of nursing.
“I didn’t learn to budget; we didn’t learn that at all,” she said.
In those early days she eventually had to teach herself how to budget and now has an appreciation for the hands-on, practical learning that is provided at the College.
In the classroom, she helps students understand the importance of budgeting and practical strategies for savings, which is a part of the College’s key areas of learning.
Robyn said she wanted to find a meaningful volunteer role where she felt she could make a difference, and she found that when she started working with the students.
“I learn things here.
“I love it, I love the students, the trainers are great, and I learn a lot here,” she said.
Robyn said she loves the students’ attitudes and the way they approach things.
“I’ve learnt how these students are so resilient and how they make friends with each other and they’re respectful of each other.
“I love how they text each other outside of class and they come into class and they are really pleased to see one another – I love that.
“The students let me share their world and they’re all so different,” she said.
Robyn said she is glad to be a part of the community at STEPS and recommends this role for anyone that is looking to give back.
“The people are lovely; they are really friendly.
“I got a little bit teary; STEPS had a morning tea for all the volunteers, and they gave us a bunch of flowers and a gift voucher and I was not expecting that.
“I was really blown away. People are so happy for you to be here.
“This is a role where they can go home at the end of the day and think to themselves ‘that was a good day,’” she said.
STEP Pathways College
STEPS Pathways College provides a range of training programs that help young people with a disability and autism further develop skills for independent living. For enrolment information in the Boarding, Day, or Online program, please call 07 5458 3000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.