Stephanie Dwyer is a dedicated and highly valued volunteer at Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld), who assists with providing information and support on our National Dementia Helpline.
“It’s a challenging area but because of that, the rewards are great - particularly if you feel you have made a small difference in someone’s journey.”
How long have you been volunteering with Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld)?
I started volunteering with Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld) around 18 months ago. My role has been working as a volunteer within the Support Services team on the National Dementia Helpline. I have also recently been involved with supporting participants with the Come Dance with Me dementia-friendly dance program launched as part of the Dementia Awareness Month in September 2014. It’s such positive encouragement for participants to express themselves through dance plus the added benefit of fun, laughter and social connectedness. It's also great to have variety in the one volunteering role.
Why did you get involved with Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld)?
I don’t have a personal connection with dementia but I’ve worked in the human services industry for over 35 years in a combination of roles including children services, tafe counselling and employer advisor in Education Queensland. I wanted to give back to the community and the National Dementia Helpline is an area where I could utilise the skills that I have to provide practical information and support.
What has been the most inspiring moment?
It’s difficult to think of just one moment. Every so often you just have a conversation with someone where you really feel like you’ve made a small difference, that you’ve spent the extra time to really be there for them. Sometimes a caller’s parent or sibling may have just been diagnosed and the time you spend with them on the phone can assist with helping them deal with the feeling of being overwhelmed and uncertain of what to do.
What would you say to other people thinking about volunteering with Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld)?
Dementia is a challenging area but because of that the rewards are great, particularly if you feel you have made a small difference in someone’s journey. My background and experience has taught me to be grateful for the opportunity to be there for someone at their time of need.
Image: Stephanie participating in the Come Dance with Me program.
From everyone at Alzheimer's Australia (Qld) we want to say a huge THANK YOU to Stephanie, and all of our other hard working volunteers across the state - we couldn't do it without you!
If you are interested in volunteering for us, please click here for more information.