How I lost weight Volunteering

By Cate Schreck - Service Excellence Coach

Earlier this year I was contacted by Carly Dennis, Manager of Community Engagement of Lifeline South West Vic, who asked if I would consider designing and delivering customer service training for their Volunteers. I was thrilled to be asked and happy to volunteer my time to put together a 2 hour Service Excellence session for their Warehouse and Shop Volunteers located in Warrnambool, Portland, Hamilton, Port Fairy and Camperdown.

During my road trip I gained 5 very valuable insights;

  1. The Lifeline Hotline cannot exist without the work of their Warehouse and Shop Volunteers. The Warehouse Volunteers collect, sort and transport the donated goods to the Shops and the Shop volunteers display and sell the goods. The sales in the Shop fund the Hotline. No shop = no Hotline.
  2. The Volunteers have endless levels of Empathy. The desire to get up everyday and work for a cause that does not benefit your Bank Account comes from a strong base of empathy. Empathy for those that need the Lifeline Hotline. Empathy is what I help customer service providers develop. No empathy training required for these volunteers.
  3. The Volunteers I met love what they do. They do it because they know they are making a difference to lives of others and they are rewarded with an improvement in their own mental and physical health. They know it's important to have a purpose, to engage with others and to feel valued. Lifeline gives this to their Volunteers.
  4. Volunteers work hard. I had no idea just how much physical work goes into the distribution of the donated goods. Truckloads of goods. We've all seen the overflowing Donation Bins but have you considered who empties the bins, sorts the goods and displays them for sale? Volunteers do and it's a big job.
  5. Volunteering is the best weight loss program I know. If you've got some extra kilos to shift - sign up to be a Warehouse Volunteer and you will definitely burn calories, but the weight I lost was the heaviness of my own day to day stress. When you spend time in a workplace with people who smile lots, help each other willingly and who genuinely care about you AND the work you do helps keep a vital Community Service running, you feel so much lighter.

If you want to lose weight, contact Carly and the team on (03) 5559 0505 or go to: Volunteering with Lifeline.

I promise, you will get more than you give.

Lifeline South West Vic Board Member Matt Northeast (Left) with Cate Schreck and just some of the wonderful Volunteers at the Camperdown Lifeline Shop.

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