National Volunteer Week is this week from Monday 18 to Sunday 24 May 2020.
This is an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution that our volunteers make to our community. This year’s theme is “Changing Communities. Changing Lives”. In recognition of National Volunteers Week we sat down with Barry, one of healthAbility’s valued volunteer to find out why he volunteers.

1. Welcome Barry, can you tell me how long have you volunteered with healthAbility?

I applied for a volunteer position three years ago and have been here ever since. I wanted to find a way to give back to the community and healthAbility do such great work.  I come in weekly to assist with a range of tasks and to really just help out where I am needed.

2.What sort of tasks do you assist with?

Just about everything and anything really, but I would say mainly general maintenance work, with Amanda  – Quality and Safety Manger and  Barry– Facilities Manager. I really enjoy coordinating our fleet vehicles to be washed and detailed so that the staff have clean cars to use to visit their clients. I also am quite handy with a paint brush and put it to good use around the building keeping it looking fresh and clean.

3. Do you have any favourite memories you would like to share with us?

I have done so many different things in my time at healthAbility but one particular task that sticks to mind is when I was assigned to assist with cleaning up the storage cages we have in the basement. They hadn’t been tended to in years and boy did it show. The treasures I found a long with a lot of dead insects. Anything useful was donated so that it would get another lease of life. In particular the Eltham Men’s Shed received a range of disused office furniture and equipment. This was gratefully received by the Shedders and will be used in setting up their shed space which will assist in completing projects for local community groups.

4. How do you find time to volunteer?

I have retired from work so I have lots of time, not only do I enjoy volunteering but I have a keen interest in swimming, bike riding and bee keeping.

5. What do you enjoy most about volunteering?

Lots of things, but I would probably say getting to meet all the interesting people, not only staff but clients too.


Barry’s interview and many others have been created for our move, feel, connect well group promoting positive health, wellbeing and social connections during COVID-19 and beyond. To join the group visit Facebook or for more details check out: move, feel, connect well.