Paul Toomey – Volunteer Story
74-year-old Paul from Yallambie certainly has plenty on his plate and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
With 11 grandchildren to keep him on his toes, as well as being an avid gardener with his wife, Paul never takes anything for granted.
And that includes his volunteer driving role at LINK Community and Transport which he has held since 2019 and commits to three days a week.
“Every day is different with varied clients, different destinations and challenges. People are taken to and picked up from medical appointments, shopping venues, social activities, training programs,” Paul says.
It’s the diversity in volunteering which Paul loves.
“Since retiring, I have volunteered in a number of situations including in administration at The Smith Family in their main office in the city, working for Anglicare financial and food support in Craigieburn, at St Paul’s College in Kew/Bulleen as a bus chaperone and supporting special needs students on their trips to and from school. I also support English as a second language for adults in Heidelberg West.”
Loving the LINK community
“At LINK, I really enjoy the role for several reasons. It gives a purpose to my life and at the end of a day, I feel happy if I have accomplished things.”
“Volunteering also gives me the opportunity to meet a wide range of people from all over the Northern and Western suburbs, to engage with them and to appreciate some of the difficulties many of them have. It gives a great deal of pleasure, knowing that my small contribution may help them in some way. They are so appreciative of the help that the various LINK programs, including the transportation, provides to support them.
“Getting to see many new areas of the suburbs is really interesting too. Every day takes you into new parts of different suburbs and I really enjoy that.
“The staff and other volunteers at LINK are very supportive and this is another opportunity to meet a range of people since working there.” Paul adds.
Becoming a volunteer
For Paul, his long-standing career in education has been invaluable in his LINK role.
“I think the main skills that I’ve been able to bring to this role from my career as a teacher are organisation, flexibility and an ability to work with a range of people with different personalities and needs,” Paul adds.
Paul has three top tips for anyone who is wishing to consider volunteering in this role.
- It is important that you want to help people
- The ability to work in a team is paramount
- It’s not just what you give in this role, it’s what you get back in personal satisfaction and a sense of achievement
“Volunteering is a win/win situation. It’s a win for the suite of people and situations that need support, but it’s also a win for the many people who have so much to give.”
74-year-old Paul from Yallambie certainly has plenty on his plate and he wouldn’t have it any other way. With 11 grandchildren to keep him on his toes, as well as being an avid gardener with his wife, Paul never takes anything for granted. And that includes his volunteer driving role at LINK Community and Transport […]