Our team in Queensland have been supporting this dad to connect with his newborn daughter. As he says, the support has completely changed his family’s life. Thank you to this father for […]
National Volunteer Week – Meet Debbie!
National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering. This year’s theme is ‘Better Together’, and appropriately so, as together we accomplish so much more.
At this time of year, we come together to recognise and celebrate our wonderful volunteers for all the ways they contribute to SHINE for Kids.
To mark National Volunteer Week, we are putting some of our many incredible volunteers in the spotlight, please meet …. Debbie!
Debbie: RISE Education, Frankston
How long have you been volunteering with SHINE for Kids?
I started volunteering with SHINE for Kids in early 2021.
My role is to mentor students within an educational setting.
What inspired you to apply to volunteer with SHINE for Kids?
I have a background in psychology and have always enjoyed working with children and within educational settings.
Helping children to feel supported and empowered is rewarding and so when I saw this opportunity with SHINE for Kids I felt that it was a perfect fit for me.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
Volunteering with SHINE for Kids has been great. I love the nature of the volunteering I do. Seeing how enthusiastic the kids are to come to a mentoring session is incredibly rewarding.
I love seeing the children try new activities and seeing how proud they are of their work we do in the sessions. On several occasions I have had mentees ask if they can take their work back to class to show the rest of their peers and teachers.
In addition, the support I receive from the SHINE for Kids team, as well as opportunities to further my learning through webinars and team meetings, is incredible.
I always feel I have someone I can call to discuss any issues or queries.
What impact do you think you have made?
I always try to make our sessions as enjoyable as possible for each child.
This means the sessions are something for the kids to look forward to and consequently they want to come to school.
I hope this helps not only the child, but also the family, and makes everyone’s day a little bit brighter.
What has been your most memorable moment?
My most rewarding moments have been when a teacher tells me how the mentee has been asking all week when our session will be.
Also I love it when the children tell me that our sessions are their favourite part of the week!
While you’re here, we need your help. Our amazing volunteers can only do so much, we also rely on the support and kind donations of the community to continue to run our many programs across NSW, Vic, WA, Qld and the ACT.
It’s only with continued support that we can be there to reach out to and walk beside children and families as they navigate one of the toughest times in their lives. We are changing futures, one child at a time. Evey bit counts. Please donate today. Thank you!
By SHINE for Kids team member Tanya Macfie I received a referral to Stand as One for a young man, Mason*, from Frank Baxter Youth Justice Centre requesting mentoring support to assist […]
One of our wonderful long time volunteers Dennis recently reached out to us to pass on some lovely news. He and his wife had just attended the graduation of a young woman […]
Our new Birthday Program is in full swing as our teams purchase specially requested gifts on behalf of a parent in custody, pack and deliver them to many happy children! So far, […]
“Days like today are tiring but boy are they worth it. I travelled to the outing with a car full of silent children, the return trip was anything but silent.” – Priscilla, […]
By a SHINE team member I met Marty*, a dad in custody, one day at the Parklea complex while I was collecting referrals. He asked about our Storytime program and what was […]
Timothy had been in custody at Clarence Correctional Centre for eight months when he joined the Storytime program. It was his first time in custody and he was really struggling with missing […]
The day before the ACT went into lockdown in August, SHINE staff had worked with a father to complete a Storytime recording for his youngest child. The father is working to improve […]
Aaron is three years old and attends the SHINE for Kids playgroup every week with his mum Carly. They live together at Numinbah Correctional Centre while Carly is in custody. Carly approached […]
Eight months ago, Tracey was referred to SHINE for Kids and began attending our weekly playgroups so that she and her two year old daughter Millie could reconnect. Millie had been in […]
Mia, Declan and Timmy have been living with their grandmother since their dad was incarcerated four years ago. Their mum was also sent into custody two years after dad while she was […]
Every week Tamara spends an hour at school one-on-one with her RISE mentor. They work through any issues Tamara is having with her schoolwork, maths in particular has been a focus, and […]
When Henry came to Storytime he was full of excitement and said he already knew the book he wanted to make for his daughter Alana. It had been forming in his head […]
Robyn and her four children have been working with SHINE for several years but this year was a special one as they prepare for dad to return home in February 2022 after […]
Dominique’s positive relationship with her mentor continued to grow this year, despite COVID moving their sessions online
Nine year old Dominque moved in to live with her grandparents two years ago following her dad’s incarceration. While she was able to make friends at her new primary school, she appeared […]
James was set on making a fresh start at being a parent when he signed up for Keeping Us Together and Storytime at Parklea Correctional Centre. He had been in and out of […]
This year the Belonging to Family team at Kempsey have had a homecoming of sorts with the return of Karen Rhodes. Karen was one of the original creators of the Belonging to […]