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Empowerment, connection underpin volunteer’s work

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Jason left the United Kingdom in October 2018, and after travelling through the Middle East and Asia had planned to spend a year in sunny Australia. Luckily for the Bolton Clarke community, he ended up staying a lot longer!

When, like so many others, Jason’s plans to return home were derailed by COVID-19 he decided to put his time and skills to use as a volunteer with Bolton Clarke.

After taking a housesitting role in Townsville he first got in touch with the Bolton Clarke Rowes Bay community to offer his services. When it came time to move on to new house-sitting opportunities around Queensland he carried his volunteering role with him, first to the Gold Coast and now the Sunshine Coast.

“I’m volunteering across three sites so far, Rowes Bay in Townsville, Tantula Rise at Alexandra Headland and Galleon Gardens at Currumbin Waters,” he says.

Jason volunteers in a Technical Support role, which means he is the go-to for any tech related problems a resident may be having.

“It covers all variety of things really. I help people with tuition on devices, I help people get connected online and set up My Gov accounts to link them in with Medicare and other resources.

“I generally help people with any basic IT issues they are having with things like phones, tablets, TV’s or Printers. It can be a terrible maze sometimes, so I try to help people make head or tail of it.”

With a background in Sales, Business Development and Management, Jason is used to providing training to staff, and says the trick is taking the time to find a language that people understand.

“It can be very intimidating at first, so it’s all about building their confidence. Once they know how to do it the whole thing is child’s play.”

“I feel very grateful, I have met a lot of great and interesting people while doing this. It’s been a very positive experience and I have to say, it’s one of the best things I’ve done.”

The theme of this year’s International Volunteer Day is: Volunteer Now for our Common Future. When people are encouraged to get involved in solving problems, the solutions are more likely to be feasible and lasting. Volunteers engage communities and build a people-centric movement to help build a better and safer future for us all. (Volunteering Australia).

Learn more about volunteering with Bolton Clarke here.