Claire* was struggling to gain employment. Though she was already volunteering one day a week in another community centre she needed further opportunities to gain experience and confidence. A family member suggested she approach Woodcroft Morphett Vale Neighbourhood Centre.
Claire’s volunteer role as a receptionist at WMVNC amongst supportive volunteer staff was pivotal in realising her barriers to employment and overcoming them.
“I didn’t feel that people took me seriously because when I spoke I sounded like a child – my way of communicating wasn’t good. At the centre I learnt to speak more clearly and express myself more confidently. I learnt how to answer the phone correctly and welcome people to the centre. I could discuss things better.”
Over time Claire acquired numerous skills associated with her role from counting money to record keeping and, importantly, attention to detail. If she struggled learning new tasks there was always someone to patiently explain procedures as often as she needed.
“It was all so new but welcoming. I got helpful feedback and eventually got comfortable in myself – confident. I really enjoyed myself and even offered to do fill in shifts.”
After a year at Woodcroft Morphett Vale Neighbourhood Centre Claire successfully applied for employment as a health information services officer. She now works an average of 35 hours a week in a job she “absolutely loves” and is in no doubt that her volunteer role played a significant role in her success.
*Name changed to protect privacy