"Volunteering at the Refugee Hub has given me a deeper insight into the kinds of struggles that refugees face, particularly single mums. I have met some of the most resilient women since I’ve been here. We may come from different cultures but at the heart of it, we are all looking to live fulfilling happy lives. I actually get excited every time I press the buzzer at the front door. I know that I will be making another connection with yet another inspiring woman. How lucky am I, that the Refugee Hub gives me the opportunity to support and empower others to develop and achieve their goals?"
Kym Hughes, Refugee Hub volunteer
“I have found volunteering in the Taree Community Kitchen to be an immensely enjoyable and fulfilling experience. When you are in the kitchen, it’s like you are there with an extended family. As a volunteer you get so much more out of the experience than you ever give. It is truly heart-warming to see the smiles on people’s faces when you serve them; the human connection brings so much happiness.”
Ruth Sumpner, Taree Community Kitchen volunteer
"When I began volunteering it was important for me to volunteer with an organisation that aligned with my faith and actively helped people who were disadvantaged in our community. Volunteering with Catholic Care Food Programme and working alongside a team of volunteers is a privilege, it brings me great joy knowing that in a small way my contribution is helping to provide a meal, also letting people know they are thought of, cared for and treated with respect. Volunteering to me is giving people support, dignity and the gift of hope. I am proud to be a volunteer, thankful for the people I meet, grateful for the friendships I have made and blessed to be in a team that helps to bring positive changes for people in our community."
Cath McCarthy, CatholicCare Food Programs volunteer
“Taree Community Kitchen assists those in need in the Taree community and working with the kitchen enables me to give back to the community in a practical way. Being part of the formation of a link with St Clare’s High School that now involves students, staff and principals of other local Catholic primary schools participating in the preparation and serving of meals at the kitchen has been inspirational. The young people of our community now understand how some people struggle in life. Volunteering allows them to practise their faith in a meaningful and relevant way and the feedback has been positive from all involved. Working in the kitchen encourages people to look at all aspects of life in our community as well as being a source of fun, laughter and meeting new friends. The experience moves us out of our comfort zone, which can only have positive personal outcomes.”
Carol Healy, Taree Community Kitchen volunteer
"Becoming a volunteer has allowed me to learn and delve deep into learning about other cultures, helping others in our community that are in need, to share and pass on my knowledge, while also trying to be a positive light in others lives. Volunteering has become an important part of my life and I hold being a volunteer at Catholic Care to the upmost highest regard. Within the years I have been volunteering at Catholic Care I have gained skills, a passion for helping others and to be grateful we live in the country we live in. Through volunteering I have gained the confidence to not be afraid to take on a challenge, to make a difference and to make positive affect on individuals and the community. Volunteering at Catholic Care has allowed me to continually learn new skills, meet new people and the most important part is to have fun! Volunteering at Catholic Care has and always will be part of my life and I am forever grateful to have been given this valuable and insightful experience."
Georgia McCarthy, CatholicCare Food Programs volunteer
“For some time, we have been interested in working with Second Bite or Oz Harvest to enable us in some small way to reach out to those in our community suffering hardship. When the opportunity came to work with the community kitchen doing its food collections, we grabbed it and have found it a very rewarding experience. We enjoy the interaction with others volunteering in the kitchen who do a tremendous job and we are happy to know that the small part we play contributes to the wellbeing of those who visit the kitchen.”
Ross and Jan Allwood, Taree Community Kitchen volunteers
“The most rewarding thing about volunteering at the Taree Community Kitchen is that I know the work I do there is vitally important in the lives of the people who visit it and I am confident that in some instances the lives of the people who attend TCK are changed in positive ways.
When people visit the kitchen, they are provided with absolutely wonderful food prepared and served with love and care and they have the chance to take away bread and other food staples, which they may not otherwise be able to afford. Perhaps just as importantly, they are also given the opportunity to socialise and connect with their peers and people who work in the kitchen. As loneliness is acknowledged as an ever-increasing, negative aspect of life in Australia, sitting down with others to enjoy a good meal and a natter I hope helps diners at the kitchen to feel less lonely and isolated. TCK this year has made beneficial new services available to the diners such as access to counselling if required and assistance sourcing services from local and state government agencies. I am proud to be associated with such a caring, forward-looking service.
It is an absolute privilege and pleasure to be part of the Taree Community Kitchen Team. My time there is fulfilling and rewarding, and I have never left the building without a smile on my face.”
Louise Spence, Taree Community Kitchen volunteer