- Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 February 2018 05:28
Since 1972 Diamond Valley Community Support (DVCS) has been a leading provider of Information, Support and Referral services to disadvantaged and vulnerable families in the Diamond Valley area. At DVCS we provide a respectful, non- judgemental support service and an Emergency Relief Program which includes material aid and education assistance. All DVCS services are free and include personal counselling, financial counselling, Tax Help and a public internet kiosk. To fund our activities we operate the Kingsbury Drive Community Market and our Opportunity Shops at Macleod and Diamond Creek. DVCS is conveniently located at the Greensborough Plaza, Shop 378a on Level 3. Clients may visit the service anytime Monday to Friday 9:30am – 4:30pm.
About 18 years ago I answered an advertisement in the school newsletter and became a volunteer at DVCS. I currently work at the Diamond Creek Op Shop, and at the Greensborough Office as a Community Support Worker.
Being a Community Support Worker has given me the opportunity to help disadvantaged individuals and families on a weekly basis through our Emergency Relief programs. With the increasing pressures many people face today, it’s really tough for some families and that’s where DVCS comes in. People in need can come to us for support, whether it be help with food, fuel, prescriptions, education expenses or clothing from our Op Shops. Some clients just need a listening ear or some information and referral.
As a Community Support Worker I’ve learnt new skills through training and debriefing with other experienced co-workers and I’ve made many friends. Several years ago I suffered a massive stroke and my DVCS co-workers visited me in hospital and rehab. When I was able to return to work they came to pick me up and drive me home again until I was able to drive. I was supported by the team at DVCS and it helped me return to my role as a Community Service Worker, and now Coordinator of the DVCS Op Shop in Diamond Creek.
The roles were reversed for a while when I needed help and I was humbled by knowing that people cared, that I was needed, and that I could return to my role in the community. DVCS is all about helping people and I am happy that as a Community Support Worker I can help others in the community.
I would advise anyone who is thinking of volunteering as a Community Support Worker, don’t hesitate. The personal rewards are huge. You get to work with great supportive friendly staff from a variety of backgrounds, and learn new skills. Most importantly you get to help local people from the local community. The weekly interaction with our clients has a lot to teach us about resilience and life skills.
I started volunteering in DVCS Op Shops four years ago and am now at Diamond Creek. I am a Supervisor and a Committee member. My role at the shop mainly involves sorting donations, pricing and helping on the cash register, and I also update the Facebook pages. Just basic skills are needed to be an Op Shop Volunteer and you get great trining on how to do everything from the Supervisiors and other volunteers.
I've always enjoyed volunteering and being able to give back to the community. I enjoyed my job in State Government but now that I'm not working, I have found volunteering in the Op Shop even more rewarding than my paid job.
I love working and making friens with the volunteers. Also talking to and helping customers is really fun and satisfying. Picking up bargains in the shop is always a plus!
One of the things I find valuable about DVCS is that they put the funds raised back into the local community. They also privide Op Shop vouchers to families and people in need. For example: a struggling family can be referred to the Op Shop and receive free clolthes, shoes, homewares and manchester, whatever they need. DVCS might be the only organisation that does that.
I encourage everyone no longer working to volunteer in some way. DVCS Op Shops provide a valuable service to the community in raising funds for disadvataged and vulnerable familes, recycling goods, and providing good quality goods to customers. I'd say if you want to make a positive difference and have some fun at the same time, just give it a go at the DVCS Op Shop.