23 years of helping others. But who’s counting?

In 2019 Alan celebrates 23 years as an RIDBC volunteerAlan is as much a part of RIDBC team as the staff

Things that happened in 1996: John Howard becomes Prime Minister of Australia; Susie O’Neill wins Gold at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta; and Alan Carter volunteers at RIDBC for the first time. The events are an attempt to put into perspective the longevity of Alan’s commitment to RIDBC over 23 years.

After recognising the quality of support offered to his neighbour’s child, who was Deaf and had a vision impairment, Alan approached RIDBC and was immediately welcomed.

His initial role was to establish an Access database of the volunteers which created time savings, built efficiency and improved communication. Alan’s rationale was simple “we can improve on this”.

Describing his time at RIDBC as “the most productive years of my working career” Alan puts it best by saying “In supporting others, I have learned more about challenge than I could ever have imagined”.

Challenge is key to Alan and is what keeps him coming back for more, driven by new, varied and interesting projects.

When asked more about the diversity of tasks he has been involved in Alan is obliged to emphasise “but not limited to” to cover the myriad of other roles he plays. Some of his roles have been: database and web design; photographer; event coordinator; landscaper; BBQ chef (and repairer); project manager; researcher; pool car washer; fundraiser; and builder. Against the phrase ‘jack of all trades’ there is a picture of Alan.

His proudest moment came in the form of being awarded Life Membership of RIDBC during the successful Hunter Splash Swimathon in 2005, presented by Vice-President Richard Owens. “A day in my life that I will never forget” recalls Alan.

RIDBC Hunter Area Manager, Wendy Dorn, is one of many who have benefited from Alan’s commitment and contribution since moving north of Sydney in 2002. At the time Alan believed his day’s volunteering at RIDBC were numbered. Fortunately for us this wasn’t the case and he was welcomed with open arms in Floraville.

“Alan is as much a part of our team as our staff. His significant contribution is immeasurable, and he is someone who thrives on a challenge. I have had the pleasure of working with him for a long period of time and hope to have that opportunity for many more years to come. He is a most valued person” says Wendy.

When Alan is asked ‘what makes volunteering at RIDBC special?’ he is quick to respond “The biggest reward of volunteering is how the staff appreciate the services of all volunteers. We are made to feel wanted and needed. That is why we are happy volunteers”. Along with the feeling of appreciation Alan’s time at RIDBC has allowed him to meet new people, many of whom are considered his great friends.

In 2019 Alan celebrates 23 years as an RIDBC volunteer. The good news? He isn’t done yet!

For volunteer opportunities at RIDBC please click here.

Receive stories like this directly to your inbox.

Button to subscribe