An outstanding volunteering career – Barbara’s story

Barbara is celebrating a remarkable 32 years of volunteering in Geelong with genU. Blending her professional teaching skills with her life experience, she has been empowering young adults with disability to lead healthier lives and enhance their numeracy and literacy skills. Now, Barbara is about to extend her volunteering journey to support the elderly through the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS).

A passion for helping others

Barbara dedicated ten years to her career as a primary school teacher before shifting her focus to raising her children, including a daughter who lives with disability. In her retirement, Barbara found herself with more time on her hands and a desire to make a difference in her local community. Joining genU as a valued volunteer, she assisted staff to implement group activities for people with disability.

“Once you start working with others, you do not stop,” Barbara said.

Barbara introduced weekly exercise classes at the local community centre for a small group of women with disability, providing them with new opportunities for involvement in mainstream activities. This initiative saw the participants grow in confidence, embrace healthier lifestyles and forge stronger social connections. Today, the passionate volunteer is supporting genU Training learners who have an intellectual disability or permanent cognitive impairment.

“At the moment in the program, we are doing a numeracy and literacy course, but over the years we’ve had an exercise program, a cooking program; there is a lot of variety you don’t have to do the same thing,” Barbara said.

“I enjoy volunteering because I meet people, I discover new experiences, and all together have a great time. There is support within the volunteer community and I couldn’t be happier.”

Barbara is looking forward to transitioning into a new genU volunteer role to support the elderly through the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme. Her warm and helpful demeanour will be missed by the genU training team. 

Volunteer with genU

If you have a passion to make a difference, we welcome you to join our incredible volunteer community and make a positive impact by giving back.  

Volunteer support can be delivered in person, over the phone or online at one of the following locations across Victoria:  

  • Barwon
  • Mornington Peninsula
  • Northern Metro
  • Southwest
  • Western Metro

Learn more about becoming a volunteer with genU.