Keen to support and give back to a local organization after retirement, Peter discovered Anam Cara and joined up as a volunteer. “Originally, I was on the lookout for an admin role because I have a background in that through professional work. However, I was also interested in palliative care as it’s not as widely known. I came across Anam Cara through Volunteering Geelong and the role struck the right balance for me in terms of depth, enjoyment and level of participation,” said Peter. One of the other things that attracted Peter to Anam Cara was the name.
“I did some research and found out that Anam Cara means ‘soul friend’ which I think is really cool. I also really like how Anam Cara is non-denominational,” he said. Peter admits that he did not have a broad understanding of palliative care when he signed up, but his knowledge grew once he embarked on volunteer training. “I undertook volunteer training one day a week for six weeks. I met a lot a lot of people with different experiences during training which was very interactive, so we were able to ask lots of questions and that helped develop my understanding,” said Peter.
With his previous work background, Peter was eager to could put forward some new ideas and bring a different perspective to the Anam Cara guests and staff alike. “I think that it is good to have people from different backgrounds as you are bringing in the fresh eyes, lots of life experience and new ideas,” he said. “I have been working with Gale, our coordinator to come up with new ideas which has been a lot of fun. We’ve experimented with implementing more technology, like YouTube, where we can play around.
It can bring back lots of memories for our guests and provide lots of enjoyment,” said Peter. Like implementing Youtube, at Anam Cara we use technology such as iPads to help with this engagement. One of Peter’s favorite moments from volunteering so far has been taking guests back in time with their favorite music. “I remember one day we went around the group and we Googled our favorite artists. Music can take you back to a wonderful time or place in your life,” he said.
Peter is pleasantly surprised that he’s formed such great friendships with the guests and other volunteers at Anam Cara. “What probably has surprised me a little bit are the relationships and the friendship between volunteers and the guests, it sorts of grows really quickly!”. Pete is excited to come back to Anam Cara once services can resume and for what the future holds with the organization. “I’m looking forward to getting back to volunteering in day hospice each week. I’m still in pretty early days of my exposure and experience, so I’m happy to just get some more time with everyone- hopefully very soon!”
If you’re interested in volunteering at Anam Cara, register your interest and email us at email@example.com. Full training is provided.