Volunteers of the Month – October 2023: Emily & Emily

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

Emily L: I am a pharmacist who has worked in community and hospital pharmacy settings.

Emily F: I’m an Obstetrics & Gynaecology Resident from Monash Health.

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

Emily L: I believe in the vision and values of The Water Well Project. Knowing that my time and my knowledge as a Pharmacist can help improve the health and wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable people in our society motivates me to volunteer.
Emily F: I joined The Water Well Project as a medical student excited to start making a difference in the best way I knew how - empowering people to take control of their health.

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

Emily L: I am involved in creating the resources that help The Water Well Project volunteers facilitate their health education sessions. My particular focus has been to ensure that in each session, there is a conversation with participants about the safe and effective use of medications. It's rewarding to know that this 'behind-the-scenes' work helps volunteers and participants have these moments!

Emily F: I love watching women find support and connection with other locals that can understand them in the way only those with their shared background can. The sessions are often filled with giggles and laughter as they help to translate for each other and trade tips and tricks, and I know I’m witnessing lifelong friendships being made - all in the name of health literacy!

4. What tips do you have for new volunteers?

Emily L: Know that you have a lot to give! Not only your knowledge as a healthcare professional, but your listening ear and empathy will go a long way with participants.

Emily F: I encourage everyone to get out there and give it a go, even session topics you feel you aren’t a specialist in. The participants are always grateful for the knowledge you have, and you’ll be surprised how much you really do know.

5. I volunteer because...

Emily L: (answered in question 2)

Emily F: I volunteer because improving heath literacy is the best way to make lasting health improvements in not only the lives of those who attend, but also their families and wider communities through dissemination of correct and accurate information. Not only are the sessions an absolute blast, you’re able to leave knowing you’ve made a real difference - what a serotonin boost!