Volunteer of the Month – February 2022: Claire

1. What is your background (profession/ workplace/ training)?

I am an intern this year at St Vincent's in Melbourne, having completed medical school at The University of Melbourne in 2021. I trained regionally in Ballarat and Shepparton, and really loved getting involved in the communities there.

2. What inspired you to become a volunteer with The Water Well Project?

During COVID last year, I wanted to connect more with the community but many services were shut down. I was very grateful to hear that the Water Well Project was running sessions via zoom, and thought it was such a great opportunity and organisation to use my clinical skills to help a diverse range of people. Health literacy is such an important skill and one which I have absolutely loved helping to share with others through the work of the Water Well Project. I also really appreciate Water Well's efforts to engage people from many language groups and working with interpreters to facilitate sessions. This has been a really fun experience and something I am grateful to be a part of.

3. Please share one of your favourite The Water Well Project sessions or moments.

Recently I helped facilitate a session on Mental Health and Social Media with Le Mana Pasifika - Centre For Multicultural Youth. The session was really rewarding as it was very interactive, and all the participants shared their own stories of how social media had affected their lives in positive and negative ways. It was fantastic for all participants to learn both from each other as well as the presenters, and resonate with their peers. I also loved working with Monika as a co-facilitator, learning from her fantastic presentation skills, and bouncing ideas off each other to keep the participants engaged.

4. What tips do you have for new volunteers?

Get involved as much as you can because each new session teaches you new skills and better ways to communicate with diverse groups of people. You also get to work alongside fantastic mentors, so use the feedback which they provide to help constantly improve. Most of all, enjoy the sessions, because the more you enjoy it, the more the participants enjoy it too!