Maria from Chorus Volunteering, Hannah and her mum started on the volunteering pathway

Left to right: Maria from Chorus Volunteering, Hannah and her mum

Hannah came to Chorus after our team met her at a career expo in the Community Education Support Centre she was attending. She started volunteering almost two years ago when she was finishing school and was looking for new pathways in life. We had a meeting with Hannah and her mum, who helped us to identify the strategies for working effectively with Hannah and her support worker. Then, we decided to give it a go and see how this opportunity evolved for her and our team.

Despite being petite in size, Hannah stands out in a crowd because of her big eyes and smile, her enormous energy, her honesty, the enthusiasm she puts into the things she commits to do. She enjoys going for walks and taking dogs for a walk. She loves football, skateboarding and videogames.

The volunteering experience with Hannah has been a learning roller coaster for all people involved but we believe it has been a positive journey. The continuous open communication between Hannah, the gardening team, the support workers, Hannah’s mum and the volunteering team have been the key for making this opportunity work. The Gardening Team at Carlisle has been open and flexible to support her at their best capacity while maintaining their work efficiency and trying to meet target work volumes. They have also demonstrated genuine interest in getting to know Hannah and to encourage her to set new achievable challenges for herself which would help her to be more independent in the future.

Hannah standing by a Chorus gardening vehicle

Hannah with one of the Chorus gardening utes

Hannah is now 19 years old; she had a work placement and volunteered before at Abbadale Pet Park Centre which was a boarding kennel for dogs and cats. However, she has never stuck to a role as she has volunteering with us. Hannah says that her job at Chorus is really good. She loves doing the gardens and helping the customers when they needed it.

Gardening with the volunteering team combines two things she really loves, being outdoors and socialising. She says: “It feels really good to make the clients happy. Happy clients, happy days. It makes me feel really happy about going out and spending the day out with great and hard – working workers”. She has learned new skills, used some skills she had before and met new people. Hannah’s mum says that the volunteering experience at Chorus gave Hannah some purpose and something to look forward to each week.

Hannah is starting to volunteer without a support person, she has registered on a TAFE course in horticulture and started applying and trying new jobs. Hannah knows that the path to living the life she chooses is not easy and sometimes it takes her several attempts to get to the next step. Her persistence is inspiring.

Hannah surrounded by the Chorus Carlisle Gardening team

Hannah is supported by the Chorus Carlisle Gardening team

Volunteering is a powerful avenue for many people, not only to contribute and give back to the community, but to learn new skills, stay active, try a new work industry, gain recent work experience, connect to the community, be part of a team and make new friends. Thanks to all who make that happen. Hannah’s final message to Chorus for National Volunteering Week 2021 was: “I think the whole team is fantastic and very hard working keep it up Chorus you’re all doing fantastic”.

How to volunteer with Chorus

Volunteer work with Chorus is flexible.  You can volunteer as a one-off or commit to regular days and volunteering can be a pathway. We offer volunteering jobs across Perth and WA, including Rockingham, Bunbury and Albany.

Chorus volunteers are encouraged to contribute whatever time they have available, from a few hours a fortnight to a maximum of three days a week.

Click here to find out more about volunteer work as well as the rewards and joy you can expect to receive, or  email or call 1800 264 268