Giving a little and changing a lot—volunteering at St James

Churches of Christ Care St James Retirement Village in Townsville is a hive of activity with volunteers. While the volunteers are drawn to helping others, they are also benefiting from learning new skills and finding job opportunities.

This National Volunteers Week (21 – 27 May) with the theme ‘Give a little. Change a lot’, we celebrate the commitment of our volunteers and the changes they are making.

Retirement Living Manager Wendy Williams said they have a thriving volunteer program, with many people making a difference and taking the opportunity to learn valuable new skills, but the one thing they all have in common is the desire to support others in their community.

“Our volunteers willingly donate their time and skills, adding value to the great work being achieved by our paid workforce, and most importantly they are donating their time to connect with and build a sense of community around the people we are all here to serve.”

St James Retirement Village will be celebrating their 24 volunteers as part of National Volunteer Week 2018 (21-27 May) with a morning tea on Wednesday 23 May at 10 am. On the day, three of the volunteers to be acknowledged for the contribution will be Natasha, Tanya and Barb.

Natasha has been volunteering at the village since graduating from high school, helping in the Lantern Café as she completes her Certificate III in Hospitality with TAFE Queensland.

Through her experience helping in the café, the young Townsville local has learnt how to make “a great coffee”, general café duties and valuable customer service experience.

Meanwhile, Tanya started volunteering at the Heatley village in an effort to build up her skills and experience so that she could confidently re-enter the workforce after taking a number of years out to raise her family.

“During the six months she was at the village, Tanya kept busy providing garden and grounds support to our residents. She was also able to complete online inductions and was introduced to customer service techniques and administration tasks, which gave her great experience and work readiness,” Ms Williams said.

“She thoroughly enjoyed working in the outdoors and impressed those around her so much that she was employed through our Access Place Gardens and Mowing service. She now works during school hours doing garden maintenance. We are delighted to see her on site each week, working hard and always with a smile on her face.”

For Barb, her time volunteering with the service led to a paid position.

“When Barb moved to Townsville in 2017 she was looking for a job and saw an advertisement on our website looking for volunteer’s in our coffee shop. As she enjoyed making coffee she decided to start volunteering with us.

“With her variety of past experience and wonderful disposition, when a position became available she was able to move from being volunteer to a paid employee. We are delighted to have her with us in her primary role of Environmental Service Worker and in a supporting role as a cook.”

Churches of Christ in Queensland thanks the 1,400 registered volunteers who assist and bring uplift to thousands of people each year in our communities in Queensland, Victoria and Vanuatu.

To find out more about volunteering opportunities with Churches of Christ Care, go to

Posted May 21, 2018 in Media releases