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A yarn makes all the difference


TeleYarn connects volunteers with Elders through a simple regular phone call to have a chat. It's a simple act that has a huge impact. Sam volunteers with the service and tells us how having a yarn enriches not only his life but those he speaks to.

Thursday September 14, 2017

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Volunteering with TeleYarn combines Sam's interests in mental and Indigenous health.
Volunteering with TeleYarn combines Sam's interests in mental and Indigenous health.
It's helped me with my interpersonal skills and I've heard a lot of great stories from the people I've spoken to.

My name is Sam. I am a proud Wakka Wakka man from Queensland and I am also a Red Cross TeleYarn volunteer caller in Melbourne. I moved to Victoria so I can study psychology at RMIT.  

I'm really passionate about this area of study because I'm interested in working in mental health and Indigenous health.  

As a TeleYarn Volunteer I call Indigenous people who would really benefit from having a yarn with someone, as they might be living alone and not have a lot of social connections. The great thing about TeleYarn is that Red Cross works in partnership with Aboriginal Housing Victoria to run it.  

I found out about TeleYarn when I was looking around on the Red Cross website. I really wanted to find a volunteering experience that would go towards my degree and any future job prospects. The fact that TeleYarn works with Indigenous Elders and I am an Indigenous person were major factors in taking up this volunteer opportunity with Red Cross.  

It has been a really rewarding volunteer experience so far. It's helped me with my interpersonal skills and I've heard a lot of great stories from the people I've spoken to. I also know that loneliness is a big problem for a lot of elderly Indigenous people. It means a lot to the people to have a yarn with the TeleYarn volunteers on a regular basis.  

I've also learnt a lot from another TeleYarn volunteer Tanya, she's been with TeleYarn for a long time. She's really inviting, helpful and gives me some great information.  

It's been a good experience, I'd recommend it to anyone, particularly for those who want to work with Indigenous people. The opportunity to talk with an Aboriginal person helps you learn a lot about what they are going through.

We're currently recruiting for Indigenous TeleYarn volunteers in Melbourne.