Tags: Bribie Island Neighbourhood Center. Volunteers. Free councilling. legal service.
There are many roles for volunteers to fill when they give of their time to ensure that the Bribie Island and District Neighbourhood Centre continues to function smoothly and is able to offer such a diverse range of services to those who need them.
All volunteers at the centre are initially trained in reception, where their time is spent greeting new arrivals and ensuring that these people are made to feel at ease and are referred to the correct service. The volunteers then have the opportunity to be trained for a variety of other tasks which are all essential in the operation of the facility and this is most certainly an accurate description of how former business owner and ex-nurse Jacqui Jackson has spent her time as a volunteer there.
Jacqui moved to our beautiful island over two years ago from the Brisbane suburb of Banyo and has been a member of the team at the Neighbourhood Centre for over a year now. She lived in Vanuatu for eighteen years when she and her husband were the owners of a retail stationery business there so it did not surprise me when she said that she really enjoys the lifestyle on Bribie. From her initial role in the reception area, Jacqui has definitely become someone who can be called on to fill a number of positions.
‘I do a variety of jobs here and at the moment I am working in Emergency Relief,’ said Jacqui. ‘I enjoy this role as it is not only very satisfying when I am able to help someone work through their problems but also a chance to feel useful,’ she added. Jacqui pointed out that as she has only moved here recently, working alongside the other really wonderful members of the team at the centre has been a great way to help with meeting people. ‘They are a really good team here and we all work well together,’ Jacqui explained. ‘Volunteering here is a good experience and just this week, a woman who I was able to help came in with a present for me.
That small gesture helped to show me that what I do here is very worthwhile,’ she said. When she is not helping those who come to the Neighbourhood Centre, Jacqui helps to take care of her grandchildren and she told me that she, as I’m sure many people did, spent most of the previous weekend looking for painted rocks.
Jacqui did make the comment that after a number of people have urged her to do something for herself as well as others, she has now joined what she said were the “Red Hat Ladies,” a group who get together for various social occasions.
The Bribie Island and District Neighbourhood Centre can be found at 9 Verdoni Street in Bellara and as well as offering a diverse range of services that include Emergency Relief, Debt Relief Counselling, Family Counselling, drug and alcohol addiction counselling and access to Centrelink services, they also operate the Neighbourhood Harvest program which hands out fresh food each Tuesday morning and have an onsite Thrift Shop which has a wide variety of pre-loved items available at very low prices. A legal service is also available by appointment and from time to time, there are a variety of courses that run over a few weeks.
The centre is open each weekday except Friday from 9 am until 3 pm and for anyone wanting more information about these services or becoming a volunteer, they can be contacted on 3408 8440.