This week is National Volunteer Week (8th – 14th May). At Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld) we rely on a loyal volunteer force of enthusiastic individuals who serve as the backbone of our organisation. Jenny Hearn is one of our volunteers based in Brisbane who offers invaluable support with our Memory Walk & Jog events in Queensland. Here is her story!
Tell me when and how you first got involved with Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld)?
It was December 2016 when I made contact, I had been unemployed for 6 months (I was made redundant after 14 years at my job), a friend suggested to try volunteering, I thought “I can do that”. I have a family connection, my mother, grandmother and 2 of my Aunties have/had Dementia. I didn’t want to get rusty by not working, I have good skills that someone could use, Alzheimer’s resonated with me due to my family history. I like helping people and feeling, however small, what I do is helpful. Meeting people. Even though I couldn’t help my Mum maybe I can help someone else.
In your opinion, what is the most important work that this organisation does?
Sometimes just being able to ring a hotline, people just need to vent, they can’t change things but it helps to talk to someone, meeting others at support groups in the same boat is really important. What I am doing with the events helps to partly fund this.
Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while volunteering with Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld).
Everyone is really nice, friendly and supportive. You get nice comments which makes you feel like you are doing something important.
What motivates you to stay involved?
I can see I am doing something that does help. Partly it’s just that I’ve made a commitment, I do feel as though I am making a contribution and I want to see how the Memory Walk and Jogs, (Australia’s largest fundraiser for dementia) go.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering?
The people are really nice and you feel like you are working towards something. It’s a good experience to make a difference and help. You feel like you are part of the team.
What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?
I have two cats, Chester and Maya and a dog, Cavalier King Charles, Monty.
My great love is reading and walking. I’ve been known to go walking for 2.5hrs to get some exercise.
To read a thank you from our national CEO, please click here.