Rosemary Staark and Cynthia Clements volunteer at Starting Point Neighbourhood House in Launceston, Tasmania. We spoke to them about their motivation to volunteer and the friendship they’ve developed.
I’ve been volunteering at Starting Point for about 12 years. I’ve never questioned my volunteering. I just like helping people and being with people. I had a lot to give and Starting Point welcomed me with open arms.
I used to be here just about every day, but now with health matters I’ve had to reduce my days to twice a week.
I’ve known Cynthia since she started here. I admire the way she holds herself and carries out her day-to-day activities. I really admire her courage. All the people here, doesn’t matter in which department, staff members and volunteers – we’ve become a big family and everyone appreciates and respects everybody else. Which is really really important. It’s the main plus actually and it helps Starting Point grow.
There is definitely a need for NILS. It doesn’t matter where you are, people always need goods to make life easier. It’s hard for people to afford to buy something outright these days. I think NILS is the bee’s knees!
I’ve known Rosemary since I started volunteering as a NILS worker, so about 5 years. I admire her because we’ve both got health issues and she just keeps going. She inspires me because she keeps fronting up every week and I just think she’s a beautiful person.
I’ve always worked in finance. I’ve got MS and I couldn’t continue in paid employment so I went into volunteering of some sort 20 odd years ago.
The best thing about microfinance is that it’s a chance for people to lift themselves out of poverty. Everybody laughs at me because I’m so passionate about it – financial literacy for all is my dream and I know it’s just a dream but I think it would be wonderful if everybody could be financially literate.
I’ve always felt I was fortunate enough to live in a country that paid me to do nothing so I figured that the best thing to do is to put back into that society.
You’ve got to have a purpose and I’m a person who thrives on a challenge and if I haven’t got one, I just don’t seem to operate as well. So volunteering benefits me in a huge way. I’ve found my niche as far as I’m concerned and I hope I can continue for as long as possible.