Meet Volunteer Cynthia Chen
A photo of Cynthia hugging a Koala
Why did you want to volunteer?
I was inspired to volunteer after graduating from university and completing a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. I thought it was a great opportunity to put my skills into practice by working with children and families. I use some of the techniques I’ve learnt from my studies with the families and groups I support. Volunteering allows me to help people and vulnerable families who may find it hard to get help. For single mums, it’s hard for them to get time for themselves especially when they have children.
What do you like about volunteering with The Benevolent Society’s Volunteer Family Connect program?
I like that volunteering hours are flexible. My Volunteer Coordinator looks after me well, as life can be a juggle with studies and work. I also feel very happy whenever I’ve been able to help families and find it very fulfilling.
What do you do in your volunteering role?
I help families who may be experiencing some challenges and need that extra support and information to seek help. We have a chat about what problems they’re experiencing; and I help connect them to other community programs. I’ve helped a client who was experiencing domestic and family violence, by sourcing them information about additional supports available. I’ve helped a single and first-time mum with resources on child development. I’ve helped a client with information about secondary education and getting into TAFE. Majority of the time, I meet with my clients in their homes and sometimes on shopping days when they’re buying groceries for their family.
How often do you volunteer with Volunteer Family Connect?
Twice weekly at the moment, because I’m supporting two families.
What do you, personally, get out of volunteering?
With Volunteer Family Connect, I learn how to connect with people and other organisations in the community. I’m able to build my knowledge and discover other community programs so I can help more families.
How do you imagine the future of volunteering in Australia?
I think volunteering is great for graduates but also a great experience for seniors in the community. It would be great to get more seniors involved through promotion; as there’s lots of volunteering opportunities and benefits.
What’s the most challenging aspect of volunteering for you?
Managing my client’s expectations and setting boundaries challenges me, because sometimes a client may ask me to help them with something that I can’t do; but I what I can do is help them find the help they need.
Click here if you would like to find out more about volunteering for Volunteer Family Connect.