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Lorraine de Kok

Give a little, change a lot

News Article Date: 
Wednesday, 23 May 2018

May 21-27 is National Volunteering Week, a time to recognise the achievements of our volunteers and encourage others to give a little of their time to make a big difference in their community.

Retiring doesn’t have to mean the end of your career.

When Lorraine de Kok retired in 2017 following more than 30 years working as a teacher in Warrnambool, she knew that she still had a lot to offer.

“I knew I had to do something to get back into the community and be with people,” she said.

“I love being with people of all ages. So long as I am contributing something, it’s the teacher in me, I just can’t help myself.”

Ms de Kok saw a callout for volunteers in The Standard and decided that she would find out more.

After attending an information session at Flagstaff Hill with her Working with Children and Police checks in tow, Lorraine was cleared within the hour and got involved soon after.

“I said I’d be happy to do anything. They’ve put me on the front desk at the Visitor Information Centre and I’m really enjoying it," she said.

“We can choose the shifts we want on the days we want. 

“We can stay behind the counter or we can come into the village and as a volunteer. We can even learn a trade if we want to like the old-style printing, dressmaking or even blacksmithing.

“I’m still learning all the time and that’s what I want, that’s what I thrive on.”

She said that there was sure to be a volunteering role in Warrnambool to suit almost anyone.

“I was given a list of things I could do, and I still haven’t made it to the end of the list. There are so many opportunities out there,” she said.

“My husband says I come home so happy because I’ve never worked in such a vibrant, happy place.

“You have to believe in yourself because you can do it. You’ve just got to make that first step.”

Information sessions regarding volunteering at Flagstaff Hill, the Visitor Information Centre, Surfside Holiday Parks and the Warrnambool City Council events team are held on the second Thursday of every month.

For more information email fshvolunteering [at] warrnambool [dot] vic [dot] gov [dot] au or call 5559 4600.

You can also learn more about volunteering in Warrnambool at www.warrnambool.vic.gov.au/volunteering

 

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