NVW 2020, Suzanne Elkington.

Suzanne Elkington is a familiar face at the Geelong Hospital, where she volunteers by providing personal support and assistance to children and families. We were impressed that a hospital patient nominated Suzanne as a Volunteer Ambassador for National Volunteer Week, and said “Suzanne’s own experiences had shaped how she supported others.

NVW Suzanne Elkington (2)

“Suzanne helps so many patients at the hospital and also in the special care unit. She talks to families who have children born with a cleft palate or lip. Suzanne helps them with feeding and answers any other questions parents may have, as she has been through this twice in her life.

Continue reading “NVW 2020, Suzanne Elkington.”

NVW 2020, Lynne Hill.

Lynne Hill has been an amazing, active volunteer with genU’s social support program DoCare for the past 12 years. As a retired nurse, Lynne wanted to stay involved in her community and found that volunteering with DoCare was a way to harness her gentle, caring nature and empathy skills by spending time with older people in the Geelong Community. Often her clients were experiencing loneliness and isolation, leading to lost confidence.

Lynne has spent the past 12 years visiting clients at home and providing a reassuring and listening ear, while also taking them on social outings.

NVW Lynne and Laurie Hill

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lynne has transitioned to genU’s virtual voice-chat volunteering service, making weekly calls to multiple clients to ensure they have everything they need, while also providing an integral social connection!

Humans in Geelong, genU and Volunteering Geelong are recognising outstanding volunteers from the Geelong region each day of National Volunteer Week, May 18-24th. Volunteering can come in many shapes and forms. You can follow your passion, like Lynne has. Volunteering leads to many benefits; a sense of purpose, helps make you happy, increases your confidence, helps others and our environment, helps our mental and physical health, and can be a pathway to work.

Photo is of Lynne and her husband Laurie.

#NVW2020 #humansingeelong #makingadifference #ilovevolunteers #socialimpact #getinvolved #geelong #greatergeelong #volunteers

National Volunteer Week, Ambassadors.

Congratulations to our six National Volunteer Week 2020, Volunteer Ambassadors. We’ll be telling their stories each day this week to celebrate their achievements and to highlight the tireless work of volunteers. Our community would not be the same without them.

For example, Humans in Geelong are made up of a team of dynamic volunteers who aim to inspire, connect and strengthen our community by sharing the stories of locals who are making a difference.

NVW Collage 2020 FINAL (002)

Make sure you “like” the Facebook pages of Humans in Geelong, genU and Volunteering Geelong, the three groups who worked together to present these awards. Keep an eye out for the stories of our selected Volunteer Ambassadors from May 18 to May 24.

It was a very tough decision, narrowing down the many nominations to just six ambassadors. Keep up the great work everyone and thanks for volunteering!

Pictured top L-R Deb Elliott of Helping our Hospital Heroes Australia, Lynne Hill of genU, Suzanne Elkington of Geelong Hospital.

Bottom L-R, Brandon Dellow of Humans in Geelong, Judy Lidstone of The Winged Horse Equine Centre and Scott Cooper of Golden Plains Shire.

#humansingeelong #NVW2020 #makingadifference #welovevolunteers #socialimpact #getinvolved

Brett Ince: supporting our region’s tourism.

When Brett Ince returned to Geelong a year ago to take on the role of Executive Director for Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine (TGGB), it’s unlikely he had dealing with a global pandemic on his agenda. When we first spoke about an interview, Brett had just completed a planning day and was keen to speak about new directions for tourism in the region.

By the time we managed to catch up, COVID-19 had arrived, borders were closed, our catch-up was over Zoom and Stage 3 Restrictions were in place.

Geelong Tourism, Brett and Karen (Novotel Geelong) at Cadel Evans

“The focus for the organisation has been supporting its members through this period,” says Brett. “We have been reaching out to all of our 600 members, providing one-on-one support, checking in to see how they are, if we can answer any questions or assist them with applying for the support packages which are available.”

All of the staff working at TGGB took to the phones to contact their members’ businesses in the region, with Brett congratulating the work of the dedicated membership team who took the bulk of the calls.

Continue reading “Brett Ince: supporting our region’s tourism.”

The Aviary Cafe, Jenny.

Jenny’s life revolves around her kids. She’s a single mum raising her 6 kids in Norlane. For Jenny, the prospect of finding work is difficult, and while she has developed numerous skills through motherhood over the past 22 years, her resume is poor.

The fact that Jenny is lonely and socially isolated further diminish her hopes of finding employment through connections.

GWYL Appeal Avairy

Sadly, Jenny’s situation is not a unique one in Norlane. One in five people in the neighbourhood experience regular unemployment – a problem often exacerbated by social isolation.

Luckily, there are organisations like The Aviary Cafe, a social enterprise of Norlane Community Initiatives. The Aviary Cafe helps people like Jenny, and those experiencing long-term unemployment through skills development and workplace experience. In their first year of operation, Owner-Operators Kaylene (pictured) and Simon Reeves established 6 new jobs, 30 volunteer and work experience placements.

Continue reading “The Aviary Cafe, Jenny.”

Felicity’s story.

Happy Mother’s Day Felicity and to all the mums out there. “My five gorgeous children and support from Peace of Mind Foundation, are the reason I’m still alive. I was diagnosed with GBM stage 4 brain cancer when I was pregnant with my youngest of five, Jesse who is now two. We were living and working in the Northern Territory in a remote indigenous community supporting the locals.” Felicity, aged 35, shares her heart-warming story of hope, love and support, with us.

POM Felicity Louisa Jones Photography

That was in May 2017. Diagnosis is terribly isolating, it meant Felicity was unable to drive, she lost her job as a midwife and nurse, she lost her home and she lost her ability to travel to amazing far-away places. If all that wasn’t enough, her marriage ended and she became a single mother of 5. All of this whilst fighting terminal brain cancer!

Continue reading “Felicity’s story.”

Master Class in Sustainability, David.

GreenLight, the not-for-profit social enterprise of Geelong Sustainability Inc has launched an online Sustainability Master Class, specifically designed for an intensive, interactive, online, adult learning environment.

It is part of a new suite of services to give households and business owners the ability to put their sustainability goals into action.

GS David Spear - GreenLight Executive Officer April 2020 (1)

GreenLight executive officer David Spear tells us more “Many of us strive to live as sustainably as possible, working within the limits of our own knowledge and resources.

“Each Master Class is delivered in four 2 hour online sessions via video conference; with one session delivered each week over four consecutive weeks; 8 hours of tuition in total.

Continue reading “Master Class in Sustainability, David.”