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Volunteer Rolf with residents from Highercombe visiting The Dutch Pantry

Exploring the volunteer paths of Rad, Lynette and Rolf

Let’s discuss the benefits of volunteering and the opportunities it provides for people to connect and socialise. Whether you’re 20 or 70 years old, there’s a wealth of knowledge, skills, and life experiences you can share to support and uplift others.

To showcase the diverse backgrounds of our volunteers, we’d love to introduce you to three ACH Group volunteers: Rad, Lynette, and Rolf.

Meet Rad, volunteer at Healthia Residential Care Home

Not long ago, Cate Balfour-Ogilvy, ACH Group’s Volunteer Services Manager, mentioned that we had a new volunteer at Healthia. She spoke about him with great excitement; in fact, she couldn’t stop raving about him.

Meet Rad, who relocated to Australia from Bangladesh in 2023 with the goal of studying, gaining experience in health and aged care, immersing himself in the culture, connecting with people, and ultimately joining ACH Group as a volunteer.

When you’re 26 years old and move to another part of the world, it can present many challenges, from cultural differences to finding your community where you can belong.

We hope that Rad’s story will inspire more young people to volunteer, as that is what social inclusion encompasses.

Rad and Natasha at Healthia
Volunteer Rad and Multiskilled Care Worker Natasha at Healthia. One of the reasons Rad started volunteering was to meet new people. Little did he know that Natasha is also from Bangladesh.
How would you introduce yourself?

Hello, I’m Rad Sarar Humayun Arnab, a certified Individual Support professional with two years of experience as a Medical Assistant in Bangladesh. I’m passionate about providing compassionate care and creating a positive impact on people’s lives. 

What motivated you to become a volunteer at ACH Group?

A friend shared their incredible volunteering experiences. Witnessing their enthusiasm and the organisation’s commitment to making a positive impact inspired me. Volunteering also feels personally rewarding. I believe this experience will not only be fulfilling on its own but could potentially open doors for me to transition into a carer or support worker role within the organisation in the future. I am thrilled about the prospect of contributing to such a dynamic team and growing both personally and professionally with ACH Group.

What is your favourite part about volunteering?

Knowing I’m actively contributing to the wellbeing of others. It’s not just about the tasks I perform but the positive impact I can make on someone’s day or life. The joy and gratitude I receive in return are priceless, making every moment spent volunteering incredibly rewarding.

Any volunteering stories or experiences you’d like to mention?

Volunteering at Healthia, I’ve observed that many residents prefer non-verbal communication. By understanding their unspoken cues, I’ve been able to build trust so they are comfortable with me being around. This experience highlights the importance of empathy and understanding that everyone has different needs.

What would you tell someone who is not sure about becoming a volunteer?

I would encourage someone unsure about volunteering by emphasising the transformative impact it can have, not only on the community but on their own life. Volunteering provides a unique opportunity for personal growth, skill development, and a sense of purpose. It’s a chance to make a positive difference in the lives of others and contribute to a cause that aligns with their values. I would suggest starting with a small commitment to see how fulfilling and enriching the experience can be, and from there, they might discover the joy and satisfaction that comes with giving back.

Lynnette and Rolf – volunteers at Highercombe Residential Care Home

Meet Lynette and Rolf, the family duo with big hearts and a shared commitment to enriching people’s lives through volunteering. With their lifelong dedication to helping others, we feel privileged to share their story with the wider community.

Lynette and Rolf, we’re incredibly grateful that you’ve chosen ACH Group to continue bringing joy to the residents at Highercombe.

Rolf, Heather and Lynette at Highercombe
Volunteers Rolf (left) and Lynette (right) with Margaret, resident at Highercombe (in the middle).
How would you introduce yourself?

Lynette: Hi there, I’m Lynette Geerling. My background involves teaching in diverse settings across rural, remote, and overseas communities. I’ve volunteered in prisons, facilitated a women’s shed in an indigenous community, and welcomed foster children and young people from South Africa into our home for educational opportunities in South Australia.

Rolf: Hello! I’m Rolf Geerling. I’ve spent most of my life in country and outback South Australia, wearing various hats from educator to pastor. Recently, I’ve been involved with volunteering at the Men’s Shed in Booleroo Centre. If you ever get the chance, Coober Pedy is a gem!

What motivated you to become volunteers at ACH Group?

Lynette: I was approached by a staff member at Highercombe during visits to see my mother. Witnessing the significance of spending time with residents motivated me to join in.

Rolf: While visiting my late mother-in-law at Highercombe, I noticed the impact volunteers had on the residents. I thought, “I could do that,” and here I am.

What is your favorite part about volunteering?

Lynette: I’m moved by the wealth of wisdom and stories residents offer when I take the time to listen. Seeing the difference, it makes in their sense of value and acknowledgement is truly rewarding.

Rolf: The richness of knowledge and experiences that residents share blows me away. It’s incredible how much I’ve learned just from conversations with various people.

Any volunteering stories or experiences you’d like to mention?

Lynette: I’ve been surprised by the connections and commonalities I’ve discovered with residents. Even when our paths differ, there’s so much I can learn from them.

Rolf: Funny thing happened the other day while driving residents around the Adelaide Hills. One of them had worked in every church we passed through, as had my brother-in-law. Small world, isn’t it?

What would you tell someone who is not sure about becoming a volunteer?

Rolf: Don’t let age or any misconceptions hold you back. Your background, skills, and interests can be valuable assets here. Your only challenge might just be finding a parking spot at Highercombe when it gets busy.

Lynette: Engaging with strangers initially felt daunting, but being part of caring for the community has been immensely rewarding. The acceptance from both residents and staff has made me grow as a person.

Ready to start something new?

Register your interest to volunteer at ACH Group.

Read about the benefits of volunteering, and how to get started.

Learn more about the residential and community based social, wellbeing and support programs at ACH Group.

About ACH