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21/May/2020

Written by guest blogger Rosie

Most of my adult life I’ve been fortunate to have been involved with not-for-profit organisations and I’m well aware of the important role of volunteers in our society.

After I retired as an allied health professional, it seemed only natural to seek the opportunity to volunteer. I had heard of the enormously supportive role that Musculoskeletal Australia (Arthritis Victoria as it was then) played in the community. So I contacted them. The rest is history 😊 I’ve now been volunteering with them once a week for over 6 years.

I work most closely with the nurses on the Help Line doing data entry. I’ve been able to continue to do this from home during the pandemic. I know this has been helpful for MSK as it helps them see trends and look for ways to improve the service. But it’s also kept me occupied and sane during lockdown! Data entry may sound a little boring, but I find it satisfying as I know it’s important work. You need to have attention to detail, computer skills, and be accurate with the information you enter the database. So that really engages the old grey matter.

Volunteering gives me great personal satisfaction. I’m able to contribute to the community and I have the chance to meet and work with like-minded staff and volunteers.

MSK is a forward thinking organisation and has staff who are enthusiastic and friendly. I have felt privileged to be part of its continuing growth.

In this picture I’m standing with some of my fellow volunteers as we attended the 50th anniversary morning tea at Government House in 2018. I felt fortunate and thrilled to attend this function with staff, volunteers and other supporters. It was such an honour.

Rosie


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12/Sep/2019

The weather’s changing. You can smell the blossoms, the freesias and other spring flowers bursting into life. The days are getting longer. The sun’s shining and the temperature’s rising.

Hooray! I’m over winter. The time for hibernating is over. I just want to lose the winter woollies, say goodbye to soup and get out and about.

So I’ve made a list of all the things I want to do now that the weather is getting better. I’m going spring into spring! Here’s a few that may get you inspired:

  1. Get outdoors. We’re so lucky in Australia to have beautiful and accessible parks and gardens. Whether you’re into a gentle stroll, a brisk hike, a walk through history, or all of the above, there’s something there for you. A good place to start is the parks service website in your state or territory, your local council website, and the National Trust website.
  2. Try a new sport/exercise. If your exercise program has become boring, or you’re in a bit of an exercise rut, spring is the perfect time to blow off the cobwebs and try something new. Try trampolining, have a Frisbee tournament, learn to dance the samba/tango/tap/swing, borrow a bike and go for a ride, join a sporting team, go bird watching. The sky’s the limit. Just think about the types of things you enjoy doing, or sound fun to you, and incorporate them into your exercise program.
  3. Take part in a fun run/walk. This is the time of the year when fun runs and walks seem to happen every weekend. Find one that appeals to you – the location, the distance, the charity it supports – and sign yourself up. Even better sign up the family and friends as well!
  4. Volunteer your time and skills. Whether it’s something you do regularly or as a once off, volunteer work can be extremely rewarding for yourself and your community. Think about the types of things you’re passionate about, your skills, the amount of time you can give, and look around your local community to find the best match. Or visit the GoVolunteer website to search the database for volunteering opportunities.
  5. Grab your camera or phone and start snapping. It’s amazing the quality photos we can take on our phones. Post your pics on social media, and be inspired by others. Spring is the perfect time to get some gorgeous photos. And it’s amazing how differently you start seeing everyday things when you start imagining them through a camera lens. Things that once faded into the background become stunning architectural shapes, or vibrant vistas. Before you know it you’ll be experimenting with angles, perspective and light. If you need help, there’s plenty of tips and tricks online about taking photos with your phone. Or investigate photography courses in your local area. You’ll learn new skills and meet new people.
  6. Dig in the dirt. Many people find gardening a relaxing past-time, and it can distract us from our pain and our problems. So with our gardens coming alive, why not get out and get your hands dirty. Plant some bright flowers in pots or garden beds around the entrance to your house. Prune trees and shrubs and remove any dead winter growth. Add some mulch to the gardens beds. Then grab a cold drink, sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labours. Oh – and if you sometimes find your condition affects your ability to garden, check out this blog post.

More to explore

Photo by Maria Shanina on Unsplash.




Musculoskeletal Australia (or MSK) is the consumer organisation working with, and advocating on behalf of, people with arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, gout and over 150 other musculoskeletal conditions.

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