Ruth Varcoe, may not be the young, friendly face you expect to be greeted by when entering the Op-Shop at the City of Playford’s Grenville Hub, however she is one of four young people living with a disability who are currently volunteering at the community centre.
In early March, shortly after the new building opened, Ruth joined the Grenville Hub as a volunteer in their op-shop. A typical day involves serving customers, managing cash, working with the register, restocking and assisting with general tidying and cleaning.
The highlight for Ruth so far has been meeting new people. “Everyone is very friendly and chatty,” she said. “I’ve made some new friends and my math has improved as I am regularly working with money.”
As a Playford local Ruth is no stranger to the Grenville Hub, having attended Remembrance Day commemorations at the former facility with her high school. However it was through her involvement with Novita that Ruth gained her volunteer role with the City of Playford.
Novita is just one community organisation the City of Playford works with to connect people with volunteering opportunities to assist the development of new skills to gain paid employment, increase their confidence, or build greater community connections.
“We have a lot of clients in the northern suburbs of Adelaide, volunteering with the City of Playford is a great way for our clients to build networks and connections that can support them to be as independent as possible,’ said Jessica Zakelj, Service Coordinator Community Programs.
Ruth hopes that her volunteer role with the Grenville Hub will support her to gain paid employment. “I would like to work in retail or as a barista, I love coffee,” said Ruth.
Through her role in the op-shop Ruth is gaining skills and confidence to gain paid employment in retail, and she will soon be fine tuning her barista skills in the Grenville Café – something she is very much looking forward to. In the op-shop she also purchased a nice black dress, so she is interview ready when the time comes.
“I would recommend volunteering or work experience with the City of Playford’s Grenville Hub, especially if you would like to work in retail, cooking, with the community or as a barista,” Ruth said. “It’s an awesome place to volunteer.”