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Mac Mates - Social Support Volunteer

Macular Disease Foundation Australia

Logo for Macular Disease Foundation Australia

Macular Disease Foundation Australia (MDFA) is a national for purpose organisation. Its purpose is to reduce the incidence and impact of macular disease – the leading cause of legal blindness and severe vision loss in Australia. MDFA has four pillars of work: prevention and early detection, supports and services, advocacy, and research and data. 

  At Macular Disease Foundation Australia, we know that a macular disease diagnosis, as well as the associated symptoms, can be confronting and isolating for people without a support network. Our Mac Mates program is designed to alleviate this isolation by matching clients with volunteers to have a chat and share their experiences. 

  We offer two types of volunteer roles under the Mac Mates program. These include:  

  Mac Mates Buddy: You will be matched with someone primarily for social support amd to have a chat. Does not require any macular disease knowledge  

  Mac Mates Guide: You will provide guidance and support to someone living with a macular disease. You will have a macular disease diagnosis yourself, have been living with vision loss, have a close friend or family member with macular disease. 

  You will be matched with a client based on shared interest, background, and diagnosis (if applying to be a Mac Mates Guide). You can speak with your matched client over the phone, via video chat, or in-person at a local café, at least once a fortnight for a minimum of 5 times/visits. 

  The responsibilities for this role include:    • Making regular (at least once per fortnight) phone calls, video calls, or face to face visits to one or more people living with a macular disease    • Providing regular feedback on calls to MDFA    • Utilising MDFA’s client database to enter client information, feedback, updates, etc    • Attending occasional meetings (over the phone/online) with MDFA staff that assist with evaluation of the peer support programs. 

  Essential Qualities:    • Effective communicator    • Strong interpersonal skills    • Values diversity of opinions as a strength and respects divergent views    • Empathetic listener and able to appreciate concerns of elderly persons and those experiencing vision loss    • (For Mac Mates Guide) Living with a macular disease, and/or, having a close have a close friend or family member with macular disease, and/or, are familiar with macular disease and want to provide support to those affected    • Basic IT skills with some proficiency in the use of Office software, as well as the ability to enter small amounts of data into an online database. 

  This is a great opportunity for someone looking to volunteer in a role where they can make an immediate and positive impact to someone living with macular disease. You will be part of a friendly team and your role will be well supported. 

  Applicants must be willing to complete a National Police Check (or provide evidence of one complete within the last 6 months).