Not all heroes wear capes

“A day of volunteering at my CFLC fills my cup up, just as much as it fills up others’.”

– Dee Arnold

This week is National Volunteer Week and we thought we’d take the opportunity to highlight some of the incredible Department for Education, Children and Young People volunteers and thank them for the amazing work they do.

We spoke to Dee and Helen from Break O’Day Child and Family Learning Centre, Cathy from Longford Primary School and Adrian, who coordinates the incredible volunteers at Kingston Library.

Read on to hear about their amazing work!

Headshot of two CFLC volunteers, Helen (L) and Dee (R)

Dee Arnold

Volunteer at Break O’Day Child and Family Learning Centre – St Helens

Dee has been volunteering with Break O’Day Child and Family Learning Centre for the last four years. She helps with cooking and freezing meals for families, putting together take-home packs for the children and washing pre-loved clothing for the in-centre op-shop.

Her favourite part of volunteering at the Centre is getting to create new connections and develop new skills. She’s currently working on mindfulness with parents at the Centre.

“It’s rewarding building from a five-minute relaxation at the start of the year, to a one-hour deep breath relaxation by the end, with our parents excitingly bringing along their pillows and blankets,” she says.

“I hope to do mindfulness sessions with the littlies in the future.”

Headshot of two CFLC volunteers, Helen (L) and Dee (R)

Helen Sands

Volunteer at Break O’Day Child and Family Learning Centre – St Helens

Helen has been volunteering at the Break O’Day Child and Family Learning Centre two days a week for the last five years. She assists with the admin work, spends time with the children and helps to make up packs for home visits.

She loves spending time with all the babies that come into the Centre.

“My grandkids live away, so I very much enjoy my time playing with the kids and spending time with our families,” she says.

“Our CFLC is such a beautiful, laidback space for families to learn and grow. Volunteering is something I’ve always wanted to do, and this is just the perfect fit for me.”

Headshot of library volunteers coordinator, Adrian

Adrian Loone

Library Operations Coordinator – Services Support

Adrian has been working closely with Kingston Library’s volunteers for the past 11 years. He has first-hand experience with just how exceptional our volunteers really are.

“Our volunteers are kind, patient, enthusiastic, empathetic and always keen to give freely of their time and expertise to support us with our services and programs,” he says.

Having a diverse team of volunteers in a library is so important when it comes to delivering a service to a wide client base.

“Having local volunteers encourages community support for the library by inspiring local citizens to become invested in our service,” Adrian explains.

“I feel so lucky to work with our volunteers closely on a daily basis.”

Headshot of school volunteer, Cathy

Cathy Cloudsdale

Volunteer at Longford Primary School

Cathy started volunteering with Longford Primary School in 2013. Starting her journey in the breakfast club, she’s now moved into the kitchen garden, where she enjoys ‘playful gardening’ with the students.

“Looking back on where we started, I can see we’ve realised many of our initial hopes; starting school composting, planting natives, setting up irrigation systems, establishing an orchard and food forest, keeping chickens, constructing an outdoor classroom,” she says.

Access to a fun and engaging gardening space is so important for learners and Cathy has been an integral part in making that happen at Longford Primary.

“It’s wonderful to see the whole school community realising the benefit of being outdoors.”

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Feature image description: Navy and grey background with text, ‘National Volunteer Week, Better Together, 16-22 May 2022’.