Bruce has been a volunteer with Anglicare Emergency relief and other programs for almost 20 years.
Currently working at St Albans where he has been for 3 years, and prior to that, 10 years with Anglicare’s Magdalene Centre in Adelaide, and with various other emergency relief organisations in Adelaide and Melbourne.
Bruce helps hand out food parcels, vouchers and provide friendly company to those who need it most.
“For some people who approach us for help, it can be a fairly lonely existence. I think whatever we can do by engaging them and just in a small way it might just make some difference to what they do.”
In Bruce’s years at Anglicare Victoria he has encountered one particular client who had fallen on hard times. After connecting at one of the clients regular trips to St Albans emergency relief centre Bruce saw this man was in need. He was unemployed due to a workplace injury, his family had left him and he was alone. Four years on and the client is now “happy as Larry.”
Bruce assisted him in finding volunteer work which lead to a paid job. He has a new outlook on life and is in contact with his children.
“You feel like it’s changed his life. We have caught up a few times over a bowl of soup. It’s a good social interaction.”
After his many years in this type of work, Bruce has found that it is community and connections that really help people to be happy.
To Bruce, volunteering is about engaging with others and the community and finding ways to further improve their situation beyond materials.
“I think by engaging with people…talking to them, perhaps hear what happened in the past week or whatever it might be. There might be things on their mind, they want to get off their chest.”
“I’ve been very lucky in my life…I’m very sympathetic to people who have had a bit of a struggle through their lives and now trying to manage on whenever it might be.”
To become a volunteer with Anglicare Victoria, visit https://www.anglicarevic.org.au/get-involved/volunteering/