23 Mar Meet Merle Newling: Volunteer Profile
Volunteers are the life blood of the Camperdown Community House. Volunteers are our everything!
Meet Merle Newling
Meet Merle Newling! Merle has lived in Camperdown now for 56 years with her husband. She has been a member of the Camperdown community for a very long time and explains that her favorite thing about Camperdown is the lovely people and that she finds it a lovely place to live;
“I was originally a country girl, but as I said earlier I have lived in Camperdown all my married life, my kids went to school here so Camperdown is really just home to me”.
Merle has been volunteering at the Camperdown Community House for almost 6 years. Merle has contributed to the life of the community house in a number of ways over this time. She started out by offering her time and skills leading workshops exploring the art of paper craft. Merle is also an expert knitter and crocheter, and has donated many an item for raffles and fundraising. This has led to Merle’s involvement as a lead volunteer coordinating our Knitting for a Cause program, which involves knitters from across the Corangamite region knitting strips that we sew and crochet into blankets. We donate these blankets to a variety of local and regional charities and causes, for example we have recently donated 8 blankets to Colac Area Health Family Support and Housing.
Although Merle has been volunteering at the house for 6 years, she has previously been attending activities and helping in knitting classes for years prior to starting out as a volunteer;
“Because I only live a block away I knew it was here so volunteering was a parcel of life for me”
Merle has been knitting for roughly 60 plus years and crocheting for 20. She has a tremendous passion when it comes to crafts and is always exploring and learning new techniques to share with us all.
Over the past 6 months Merle has joined the Food Bank team. She is volunteering a minimum of one day per week, and some time up to three is the service is busy, helping with the foodbank providing essential food and items for people in need in the community;
“Oh I enjoy it, I’d rather be out packaging boxes then answering the phone. I love it out there, just helping out and doing something good for other people. I’ve always been able to do something for someone else, without looking for a reward in return. I love the girls here they’re just great to work with.”
When questioned about why Merle volunteers, she replied “it gives me a reason to live. My kids are all grown, and my grandkids are all grown and producing babies now, so I needed time for me. That’s what community house has done, made time for me”.
Merle tells the broader community, that when it comes to volunteering, people need to “get off their butt and do it”.
Merle inspires us all with her dedication to creating supportive and positive community life through volunteering, and to get out there and do what you can for others. May we all aspire to be as generous and giving as Merle.
Read more about our Knitting for a Cause Program.
Read more about our Food Bank service.
If you are interested in learning more about music group or volunteering at community house, please get in touch!
Volunteering at Camperdown Community House is a rewarding way to give back to your community, meet new people, share your skills or passion, and/or learn and get involved with something new.
There are numerous ways to get involved as a volunteer and we are committed to working individually to find the best fit each person. You are never locked in to one way of volunteering or one particular volunteer role.
CCH provides a flexible, responsive and personalized approach to volunteering, and we can work together to make sure you are feeling satisfied and fulfilled by your engagement with the organisations as a volunteer.
The benefits of volunteering (from Volunteering Victoria)
- Happiness: Volunteers are happier, healthier and sleep better than those who don’t volunteer
- Health: Sustained volunteering is associated with better mental health
- Community:The experience of helping others provides meaning, a sense of self-worth and inclusion
- Skill building: Did you know over 85% of HR Managers look for volunteering on CVs? Volunteering can help learn new skills and get ahead in the job market.
Camperdown Community House is open 9.30am-4.30pm Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays and 9am-1pm Fridays. You can call us on (03) 5593 1403.
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