I have been volunteering for six weeks and I’m thoroughly enjoying the experience.
I’m working at a non-profit organisation which provides community transport in Tasmania to seniors and disabled people. The organisation has a fleet of 70 vehicles, both cars and mini buses. Volunteer drivers take clients to non-emergency medical appointments but also on shopping and social trips. It is a much needed service with a growing demand.
Regional co-ordinators take calls from clients, book the trips in computer system, agree pick up times then allocate vehicles and drivers.
There is a nominal fee for the clients from $6 to $30 depending on mileage. The driver collects the fee and completes a vehicle log sheet, confirming the journeys for the day, the mileage driven, any additional stops, ie pharmacist after a doctor appointment. Each journey needs to be recorded accurately on monthly reporting to ensure continued government funding.
The co-ordinators role is a huge juggling act, obviously trying to accommodate as many people as possible, to keep journeys as efficient as possible and to provide a reliable service.
The co-ordinators work alone in small offices, open to the public. Drivers call in with log sheets, with the money envelopes, to pick up driving run sheets. I have been assisting a local co-ordinator, answering the phone, general admin, counting the money collected, doing the banking. This is ironic as during my decades of banking career I was never a cashier/teller.
Some days run smoothly but others are hectic with constant incoming calls, with queries, with unexpected events such as a puncture. Some clients take a carer with them, sometimes a spouse, but this needs to be booked in, otherwise there are more people than planned for the vehicle and not enough seats. There are many potential headaches for the co-ordinators.
I admire the work the co-ordinators do but I’m more suited to an admin role, less customer service. So I’ve also worked in their Head Office. More about that in a future post.
Eventually I will need to find paid work, but for the time being, this is a great use of my time and a benefit to both myself and the organisation.
We took a Vivid Cruise which was an excellent way to get a feel of the size and scale of the festival and to see the city lights from the harbour.
The focus is around Circular Quay with one side of the Opera House illuminated and one side of the Harbour Bridge. But there are numerous locations of light installations around the city.
It was intriguing to actually cruise underneath the Harbour Bridge.
This year is the 200th anniversary for the Botanical Gardens so they are participating in Vivid. This arch of lights was just one of the attractions there. The crowd sauntered through the arch, six people across, taking photos as we went. Also in the gardens, there were light effects on trees and grass.
Various buildings were flood lit with moving images. Some art installations were interactive, reacting to movement, or linked to music. We spent two evenings in the city and still didn’t experience everything.
All the while, Sydney Ferries continued their regular dance across the harbour, joined by multiple cruise and private boats.
Sydney Opera House is an impressive building at the best of times, but during the city’s Vivid Festival, it is awesome with the light show projected onto it’s sails.
Here are just a few of my photos.
It’s the end of another working week. Aussie Mate and I have both now worked a full week for the first time since August 2014.
He has been working a couple of days a week for several months and I’ve done a few weeks of part time volunteer work. Last week he did extra shifts covering holidays and I’d moved to a different office where full time hours were appropriate.
So for the first time in twenty months, our leisure time is significantly reduced. We are back to weekend chores, laundry, housework, food shopping.
We are still adjusting to the change of lifestyle, to the new demands on our time.
I’ve not had time for my creative outlets and relaxation, photography, knitting, crochet, reading novels, writing here.
Communication has taken a hit too. I’ve been slack with emails and messages, hand writing letters and post cards.
I’ve skipped through reading your blogs and I’ve not posted as many comments as I’d like.
So apologies to family, friends and fellow bloggers as I get used to a new work / life balance and reset my personal priorities.
Full time work will be in my future, whether paid or unpaid. But first we’ve got a six day holiday up in Sydney 🙂
Winter officially arrived yesterday but the past few days have seen overnight temperatures near zero and heavy frosts in the early morning.
Today, I allowed time to walk and take photos on my way to work. I felt invigorated.
This is my contribution to Claudette’s “Emotography” series.