Volunteer profile: Paige
How long have you been volunteering for Children First Foundation?
I have been volunteering with Children First Foundation since early 2016. As a part of my university degree, I had to volunteer for 20 hours. I came across Children First Foundation in my search for potential organisations to volunteer at, and straight away, I was very interested as I have always wanted to work with children. As soon as I read the Foundation’s mission and vision and how it helps change the lives of so many children, I knew it was the place for me.
Tell us a little bit about your volunteering role at Children First Foundation…
When I initially started, I volunteered every Saturday. Now I do a Saturday a fortnight. I just hang out with the kids, play lots of games, go for walks on The Retreat grounds, make meals and help the kids complete their exercise programs.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering with Children First Foundation?
The kids! They are the reason I have continued to volunteer with Foundation past my 20-hour placement. Each child that comes through the Foundation is so special, and I can’t imagine not being a part of their life-changing journey.
I have so many amazing memories from my four years of volunteering, from taking the kids on outings to just playing basketball at The Retreat! But I think the highlight has to be when I saw Tina run for the first time. Tina was from Timor and she had a rare congenital condition which caused her knees to collapse, and she could hardly walk. After surgery she had external fixations on both legs and was wheelchair-bound for quite a while during her time here, once she was up and about, she worked so hard at her rehab, and it was marvellous to see her rewarded for all that hard work! Being a part of each child’s journey is such a privilege, and seeing the kids return home happy and healthy is just the best!
Tell us a little bit about yourself …
I live Richmond, although grew up in a small coastal town with my parents and brother and sister about four hours from Melbourne. I moved to Melbourne after high school so I could go to university to study Occupational Therapy. I have since graduated from my degree and now work as an Occupational Therapist, supporting people with a disability to reach their full potential.