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Richard’s Story

I volunteer with an organisation called Family Life. Family Life perform a number of benefits to local communities in the Southern Suburbs of Melbourne but in broad strokes they fulfil a commitment to build stronger communities through working closely with struggling families to ensure they have the quality of life we all deserve. The services they offer are primarily counselling services and programs, such as SHINE that work closely with young people to ensure they get the start in life that they need to be a prospering and well-functioning person in society.

There was a real desire to give back and right some of the inequalities that exist within our society. I have always been quite charitable financially, however I found that it’s one thing to donate money but I really think the power of change comes about when people extend out a hand and offer support by getting directly involved.

The thing I find most inspirational about the people of Family Life is the passion with which they go about their roles and also their ability to get results. The people live, eat and breathe the culture of the organisation and it is rewarded by the huge amount of volunteer support that Family Life receives back.

Most definitely my favourite part of volunteering with Family Life is doing the mentoring work with the YouthWorx team at the facility at Cheltenham. Every other Friday we organize some sort of bonding activity with the group to help break down the barriers and get them to open up to us and share what going on in their lives.

The biggest thing I get out of the volunteering is a sense of pride that you’ve done something to help improve someone else’s life. I don’t think there is any more important virtue for a person to have in their life. With the fast paced nature of our world today it is easy to lose sight of the notion of building a sense of community. If everyone in the world was to make a concerted effort each day towards making a positive impact in someone else’s life...especially people they don’t know...then the world can only be a better place.