RIDBC celebrates valued volunteers during International Volunteer Day

Photo of ABS volunteer Tim pictured with ABS student Liam Tim pictured with RIDBC Alice Betteridge School student Liam

Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) would like to thank its valued volunteers on International Volunteer Day, 5 December.

In 2015, volunteers contributed over 26,000 hours of work to RIDBC. Over 945 people volunteered through RIDBC fundraising clubs and committees, with another 250 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,” said RIDBC Chief Executive, Chris Rehn. "RIDBC’s volunteers generously give their time supporting RIDBC staff to continue to deliver services to children and adults with vision or hearing loss both locally, and around Australia. Their contribution is invaluable, and we thank them for their ongoing support."

19 year old, Timothy, volunteers at RIDBC Alice Betteridge School which caters for school-age students from Kindergarten to Year 12 with a significant vision or hearing loss as well as a level of intellectual impairment.  

“I have always been fascinated by communication and I am currently studying speech and hearing sciences at Macquarie University," said Tim. “I chose to volunteer at RIDBC because I wanted to learn more about how people with vision and hearing loss communicate, and to provide assistance wherever possible.

“One of my favourite things about volunteering at RIDBC is that when I go in, I’m always hoping to provide help to others but when I come out, I realise just how much the kids have helped me. It reminds me to stay humble and to appreciate the little aspects of life because there will always be others who have it harder.” 

Tim helps in the classroom with arts and crafts, cooking classes and educational activities every week.

“Committing time and energy towards volunteering has become the highlight of my week," said Tim. "To see the care and love that the staff have for the children creates such a positive and fulfilling atmosphere that I always wish that I could dedicate more time to RIDBC.”

Tim encourages other young people to volunteer.

“The celebration of International Volunteer Day means a lot to me because it recognises the millions of people that dedicate their time to causes that they believe to be good," said Tim. “It promotes the happiness that volunteering brings to others as well as to the volunteers themselves. It serves as an encouragement to those who already volunteer but it also inspires others to give volunteering a try.

“No matter how little time is offered, you really can impact strongly on another person’s life.”

RIDBC volunteers assist with a variety of tasks including; classroom tasks, formatting material for vision impaired children, gardening, administration, fundraising and transport.