Meet Emma – one of our wonderful volunteers who wholeheartedly believes volunteering is good for the soul!

We often hear of the many benefits of volunteering.  Some say volunteering benefits your health; others say it gives you a great sense of satisfaction.  So to find out more, we had a chat to one of our younger volunteers, Emma.  And as Emma tells us, “we volunteer because it makes a difference; a difference to both ourselves and those we are helping”.

Emma, do tell, what motivated you to become a volunteer? 

I’ve always been passionate about helping others, so volunteering makes perfect sense and is something I am very familiar with.  When I was a teenager, I helped with all sorts of projects for my local community and my school.  When I left school, I also started volunteering with Mission Australia and did that for quite a few years.  Whenever I have volunteered, it always made me feel good, like I was really doing something worthwhile.  I certainly know that with each volunteer experience, I have felt a sense of it adding something special to my life.  Nothing else I’ve done has really measured up to that!

And now you are volunteering for Sutherland Food Services.  Why did you choose us?

I think volunteering is personal and choosing to volunteer for Sutherland Food Services has definitely been a very personal decision.  At the moment I am studying a Bachelor of Nutrition Science, so it really matches with my studies and career choices.  But more than that, my Grandmother passed away two years ago, and she was helped a lot by meals on wheels.  It gave her the chance to stay at home right up until her final days and my whole family felt that she was getting the food and support she needed to stay healthy.  She wasn’t able to make meals herself, so this service made all the difference.

Because of this I really feel very humbled by the work of Sutherland Food Services.  We do more than just provide meals, we give people every chance to stay at home longer and to stay healthier too.  I have this vision of me as an old lady enjoying the meals like my grandma.

Did you have any ideas about what it would be like volunteering for an organisation that mainly helps older people?

To be honest I didn’t really think about that.  I was just keen to learn more and to meet new people and it certainly doesn’t bother me that it is with older people.  Perhaps I did expect to see the Hollywood scene of granny and grandpa sitting in a cosy home with their blankets doing their knitting though!

Really, they are just like the rest of us – a bunch of mixed and unique souls who enjoy the company of others.  Now that I am volunteering regularly I am getting to see the reality of how older people are living in our community.  Although everyone is happy and humble, it is evident that Sutherland Food Services provide an absolutely necessary service – the meals, without a doubt, ensure they can live a better quality of life.

Would you recommend volunteering to your friends?

Yes, yes and yes.  I just love my role here and can only say the best things about being a volunteer.  I think people my age should most certainly get involved.  It is so important to cherish the people in our community that have made it what it is today.  We are so lucky – and giving back just makes you feel even luckier.