It's National Volunteer Week!
It’s National Volunteer Week! A week that celebrates Australia’s 6 million-plus volunteers. If our calculations are correct, that means that there are millions of hours dedicated by others, to help others, every year. How incredible is that!
We had the pleasure of taking a chat with our Foster Hub volunteer, Peter, who gave us some insight into why he volunteers and what some of his most memorable moments have been with the Foundation. Being a long-time member of the Lighthouse family, he has always been one who has appreciated how much a little thing can mean to a vulnerable child and how impactful those moments can be to himself.
What is your role on the Volunteer Committee and what does it involve?
I have the great honor of being the Chair of the Foster Hub committee. It involves setting the direction and focus of what we do and helping our fabulous committee members bring their diverse talents together to help support our beautiful Foster families and carers. The Lighthouse Foundation model of care has been proven and evaluated and documented many times over the past 30 years and has proven itself to be one of the most effective and best in class worldwide. By taking all of these learnings gained, and applying them to the Foster Care families with the same support and care is just a game-changer for how Foster care is offered. I am very proud to be a part of this seminal shift in such an important sector of care.
What led you to choose Lighthouse?
I came across an article about the fabulous Susan Barton around 17 years ago and have been in love with the place ever since. The more I discovered about Lighthouse Foundation, and the outcomes we achieve, over many many years just reinforce how special this place is.
What’s been the most memorable experience from your time with the Foundation?
Working with young people has brought me many great memories, but one, in particular, left a real impact. One of our young people in the home was having a birthday and was turning 19. She was talking to the carer Trev and told him that she had never had a birthday party or a cake. Ever. Not once in her life. I told my daughter Chloe about this, she was maybe 10 0r 11, and just couldn't let that go so she made a chocolate ripple cake shaped in our young person's name. It was a great-looking cake, and Chloe came with me to the birthday celebration at the home. It was a very powerful moment for our family and the reality of what some of our young people have lived. This on its own is a quite minor sounding issue, especially with a lot of things our young people have to deal with and overcome, but it was a very memorable thing for us.
If you were to encourage anyone to volunteer with Lighthouse, what would you say to them?
Just jump in. The people Lighthouse Foundation attracts are all wonderful people, and you will have a lot of great times. Youth homelessness is a real tragedy that no young person deserves, so it is a very important cause. Lighthouse makes a real and tangible and measurable difference in our young people's lives, so it is both important and rewarding work to be doing.
We at Lighthouse may be biased, but we are more than certain that we have some of Australia’s most dedicated, kind, and thoughtful volunteers. They play a vital role in helping with the work that we do. You’ll find them cooking sausage sizzles for fundraisers, delivering brochures in the local area, or even joining us at the Youth Resource Centre helping out the team. The tasks are endless and our volunteers are always there. They are versatile, important, and essential and we can’t thank you enough for all that they do!