This week our Grants Researcher Kristine had a chat with Carissa Lockley who was recently awarded The Grants Hub's Volunteer Grant. Carissa's uncompromising dedication to voluntary work, along with her commitment to help families through her work at Ronald McDonald House was not only an inspiration to the grants panel, but also our team at The Grants Hub. Read on to learn more about how Carissa will be using this grant to make a difference in her volunteer role at Ronald McDonald House.
Congratulations! When it comes to grants, many people are reluctant to put themselves forward. What made you apply?
I was initially alerted to the opportunity via email through a Ronald McDonald House newsletter that is regularly sent out to volunteers. When I read the grant details, I thought, ‘well there is no better time than now to give this a shot’ and so I applied.
Why did you choose Ronald McDonald House when seeking out a volunteer role?
I have always done volunteering. I first started out offering my time to the charities Riding for The Disabled and Big Brothers Big Sisters. After some time, I soon sought out other volunteering options with organisations that worked with kids but was less emotionally intense as my past volunteering efforts. That’s when I found Ronald McDonald House in South Brisbane, and I have been volunteering with them for the last six and a half years.
What does a typical day look like for you at Ronald McDonald House?
My role description sits somewhere between a Guest Ambassador and a Concierge. I greet families when they arrive to make them feel welcome and comfortable as they are understandably weary and stressed when they first walk through the door. I help them navigate the facilities, such as the laundry and kitchen, and I also assist them with transport directions when they need to head out, for example, we have many guests from the country and it is often their first time in Brisbane city. I also support the administration staff with various tasks.
Volunteering involves some juggling with other areas of life, I am assuming you also have a full-time day job?
Yes, I am a Cartographer by day. Fortunately, I have a wonderfully flexible employer who lets me knock off at 2pm on a Thursday so I can undertake my Ronald McDonald House shift, which is usually 4-5hours.
What will receiving this grant from The Grants Hub enable you to do?
We have a long-term family who have been regular visitors to the House through the years. The children in the family are hearing impaired and I have often thought how nice it would be to be able to communicate to them and get to know them. Sometime back I investigated prices to take some courses but they were a little out of my price range and the timing was not right. I saw applying for this grant as a way to finally be able to take the courses. Now that I have been awarded the grant, the two courses I will take through Deaf Services Queensland will be introductory community Auslan courses offered in Terms 3 & 4. My goal is to be able to learn some basic Auslan so that the children in the family feel acknowledged and warmly welcome while staying at the House.