Find time to volunteer

Holly ThompsonManjimup-Bridgetown Times
St John Ambulance volunteer Rebecca Wallace has been working with the Manjimup team for more than five years.
Camera IconSt John Ambulance volunteer Rebecca Wallace has been working with the Manjimup team for more than five years. Credit: Holly Thompson

For St John volunteer Rebecca Wallace, volunteering has always been a major part of her life and something she always finds time for.

Rebecca moved to Manjimup about six years ago and started her volunteer work with St John almost as soon as she arrived.

“Volunteering has always been a huge part of my life so working with St John is another way to do this,” she said.

“In the community, I do work with the agricultural show with my church as well, like organising and running camps and things like that and of course I get to teach first aid a lot with the kids too.”

Rebecca said one of her favourite things about volunteering was giving back to the community and meeting new people.

Prior to moving to Manjimup Rebecca lived in Tasmania and said working with St John was not as common there as it was here.

“This is the first volunteering work I have done with a St John group because of this, a friend encouraged me to come along and join when I moved here,” she said.

“I am so glad I did because being able to help people in my community when they are at their lowest and then seeing them at their highest is a real honour.”

She said another aspect of the job she loved was the events she was able to cover through St John.

“I covered the Margaret River pro this year, hanging out on a beach was not a terrible way to spend the day,” she said.

“I also love doing events like this because it gives me experience I can bring back here to Manjimup.

“Obviously incidents with water is not something which happens a lot down here so it is good to learn what to do just in case.”

Other events Rebecca has covered includes leavers week and a Parkour competition.

“The people who do Parkour are insane, running flat out at brick walls, but it is fascinating to watch,” she said.

Rebecca said she encouraged everyone to volunteer for something they are passionate about in their community.

“You should go for it, I am a single mum with two little girls and I work as well but there is always time to do volunteering,” she said.

“If you throw yourself into it you will learn more than you ever thought possible and get so much out of the experience.”

The hours Rebecca works with St John varies and she said some months she could do 30 to 40 hours a week, a lot of the time on the night shift between 6pm to 6am.

“Juggling everything can be hard and I do think it is important to have an amazing support network around you who can help out when you need it,” she said.

“I think this is the biggest thing which helps me cope with everything I am doing.”

Rebecca’s passion and dedication to volunteering has seen her nominated for a recent citizen of the year award.

“I was honoured to have been nominated. At my age I have done so many things but I feel like there are so many others out there who have done so much more than what I have accomplished,” she said.

“It was pretty exciting that people can look at me working in the community and think I am doing a good job.”

Rebecca said while volunteering with St John could be difficult when dealing with tragedies and watching how they affected communities, it was always phenomenal to see the community pull together.

“I do not think anyone regrets the time they give to other people.”

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