RIDBC celebrates National Volunteer Week

Marion Smith, has volunteered at RIDBC Thomas Pattison School for sixteen years.

Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) is celebrating the wonderful contribution of our volunteers as part of National Volunteer Week 11 – 17 May.  

In 2014 volunteers contributed over 26,000 hours of work for RIDBC, with over 945 people volunteering through RIDBC fundraising clubs and committees and another 250 volunteers contributing to RIDBC’s clinical and educational services or in administrative positions.

“Volunteering is vital to RIDBC – it is central to our culture and to our ability to provide services. RIDBC’s volunteers generously give their time supporting RIDBC staff to continue to deliver services to children with hearing or vision loss both locally, and around Australia. Their contribution is invaluable, and we thank them for their ongoing support,” said RIDBC Chief Executive, Chris Rehn.

Castle Hill resident, Marion Smith, has volunteered at RIDBC Thomas Pattison School for sixteen years.

RIDBC Thomas Pattison School provides a quality bilingual educational program for deaf students who use Australian Sign Language (Auslan) and English in its spoken and written form. Students follow the regular NSW Board of Studies Curriculum.

“I had a friend with hearing loss growing up and back then education opportunities for the people with hearing loss were scarce. I wanted to help fill this gap and decided to do so after I retired as a nurse," said Marion.

“Being able to communicate with the children in Auslan is what inspired me to volunteer at RIDBC Thomas Pattison School. For more than 20 years the school has offered a quality program focusing on Auslan and English development in children with hearing loss and I wanted to be a part of this.

“For me it has been a rewarding experience getting to see the children grow and excel from kindergarten  right through to year ten. I feel so proud to see them achieve, to go on to work or to university, and to continue to develop their skills, having overcome many challenges along the way.”

Marion has also been a member of the Hills Lantern Club for sixteen years, where she holds the role of treasurer today.

RIDBC volunteers assist with a variety of tasks including; administration, classroom assistance, making resources, child minding, fundraising and events. To find out more visit ridbc.org.au/volunteers or call 02 9872 0345.

RIDBC is Australia’s largest non-government provider of therapy, education and cochlear implant services for people with hearing or vision loss, supporting thousands of adults, children and their families, each year.

RIDBC relies heavily on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in children's lives. To donate, go to ridbc.org.au/donate