25 July 2006
Joy Little began volunteering at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. She is now a manager of 285 community volunteers.Victoria, Australia:
It looks like volunteering has definitely kept Joy Little young. Although her earliest volunteering experience was at age 11 as a dog-walker, her formal volunteering started in earnest when she volunteered at 18 as an English/Esperanto interpreter at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.
“I got my driver's licence and volunteered at the Olympics the same year,” recalls Joy, who is a manager of 285 volunteers for Eastern Access Community Health. She’s also the mother of five and grandmother of 12 keen volunteers.
“There’s certainly more pressure from government now, more regulations; but there’s also better communication and more networking between people in volunteering. Before, you felt a lot more isolated,” said Joy when considering her three-decade career in volunteer management.
“There’s been a real change in the length of time people are willing to volunteer. Now they’re more likely to be looking for short-term roles to help them gain job skills and find work. I’ve helped eight volunteers already find office-type jobs after volunteering with me.”
And Joy’s advice on successful recruitment? Honesty. “If you tell people up-front exactly what the role involves then there’s no surprises for them and they’re more likely to stay on.” Sounds like it’s working. Joy says that several people apply for every role she offers.