AUTISTIC N!CK VOLUNTEERS
FUN FACT The verb volunteering was first recorded in 1755. It was derived from the noun volunteer, in C.1600, “one who offers himself for military service,” from the Middle French voluntaire.
FUN FACT There are many different types of volunteering
Skills-based volunteering is leveraging the specialised skills and the talents of individuals to strengthen the infrastructure of non-profits, helping them build and sustain their capacity to successfully achieve their goals.
Also called e-volunteering or online volunteering, virtual volunteering is a volunteer who completes tasks, in whole or in part, offsite from the organization being assisted.
Micro-volunteering is a task performed via an internet-connected device.
Whereby companies give their employees an allowance of paid time off annually, which in turn they use to volunteer at a charity of their choice.
Now that I have bedazzled you with my French and my fun facts this week’s blog deals with volunteering and my involvement with Developmental Disability WA (DDWA).
But what are the benefits of volunteering I hear you ask? Well…
Benefits of volunteering
Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. The social contact aspect of helping and working with others can have a profound effect on your overall psychological well-being.
Nothing relieves stress better than a meaningful connection to another person.
Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against depression.
Volunteering makes you happy. By measuring hormones and brain activity, researchers have discovered that being helpful to others delivers immense pleasure. Human beings are hard-wired to give to others. The more we give, the happier we feel.
Volunteering increases self-confidence. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.
Volunteering provides a sense of purpose. Older adults, especially those who have retired or lost a spouse, can find new meaning and direction in their lives by helping others. Whatever your age or life situation, volunteering can help take your mind off your own worries, keep you mentally stimulated, and add more zest to your life.
Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy.
Which is why I am volunteering with Developmental Disability WA (DDWA)
But I hear you ask who are Developmental Disability WA (DDWA)? Well….
An introduction to DDWA
“Developmental Disability WA was established in 1985 and is a trusted source of independent information, advocacy, education and support for people with intellectual and other developmental disability, their families and the people who support them. DDWA offers free membership to individuals and family members and others who have an interest in advancing the rights and needs of people with disability.
People with developmental disabilities and their families live their lives their way.
DDWA works in three main ways:
To support people with developmental disabilities and their families to have a strong voice and seek change where needed. To influence government and other decision makers to make positive and lasting change.
To build the expectations and capacity of people with developmental disability and their families. To inform people and families about their rights, choices and options to equitable services and supports.
To support people with developmental disabilities and their families to live their everyday lives. To partner with others to develop more connected and inclusive communities.
People are the experts in their own lives and have the right to self-determination and contribution.
Our membership and our relationships reflect the diversity of this community of interest.
Sometimes people need skills and support to be heard.
Developmental Disability WA practices consistent dedication to long lasting change.
Mutually supportive relationships sustain us and keep us connected, inspired and motivated.
My involvement with DDWA came about due to my friendship with Liz Handley. Liz messaged me and asked me if I was interested in doing some volunteer work with DDWA, the role would entail updating the contacts in their school lists.
I emailed Mary and we had a conversation over the telephone.
It was arranged that we would meet to discuss the role and to see if it suited me.
The meeting with Mary Butterworth the CEO of DDWA went well and it was agreed that I would work every fortnight on a Thursday between 10 – 12 and they would reimburse me my train fare and parking costs.
So, on Monday morning I caught the 9.04 train to Perth Underground station, and then the 9.45 train from platform 7 to Fremantle getting off at City West train station and walking towards Delhi Street.
I was extremely nervous about commencing with this volunteering, but I had prepared myself the week before by meeting Mary and being put as ease by Mary and her warm and welcoming attitude. It also helped that we had, had a previous conversation on the telephone which also had squashed any nerves I may have ben harbouring.
Mary had suggested that I come in on a Thursday as it’s a quiet day for them, there aren’t that many members of staff who work on that day and I would be able to concentrate on the task of updating their school contacts list without being disturbed.
Mary along with the rest of the staff at DDWA couldn’t have been more welcoming to me, and I am very much enjoying spending time with them and getting to know them as an organisation and feel a sense of achievement by volunteering with them.
For more information click here https://ddwa.org.au
You can make contact with them here https://ddwa.org.au/our-people-2019/
You can also find them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DDCofWAInc/
Or on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiFos6hLDvUQcX8Vh6DNwrg
If you want to volunteer in Australia, then click on the links below in your state
SA AND THE NT
Carry on the Conversation
Do you do any volunteer work?
Do you see the rewards/benefits of being a volunteer?
Let me know in the comments below.
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Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.