Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, loneliness was already rife in Australia. In 2019, one
If someone asked you today to share how you've made a positive difference to someone else's life what would you tell them? Would your story include how your favourite hobbies and interests helped someone achieve their long term goals?
As a Hero, you’re in a unique position to give back to the people around you. Often in ways you'd never originally think of. Our team at HQ wanted to learn more about how becoming a Hero can provide opportunities for personal growth & social impact, so we asked our Hero Valentina to share a little of her story so far. Along with a little advice she'd give to anyone looking to make positive change in their own community.
How did you find out about Home Care Heroes?
My older sister Seraphina started working as a hero in mid-2017, and I’d always loved hearing stories about the fantastic rapport she’d built with her Members.
What drove your decision to join Home Care Heroes?
I'm a Medical Science student at the University of Sydney, and I hope to one day become a doctor because I'd absolutely love to use my interest in science to help better people's lives. But studying at university won't put me into contact with patients till much further on in my degree- and that's what brought me here.
Human relationships are something I value above all else. Treating people with the respect, compassion, integrity and enthusiasm that they deserve is, I believe, the key to helping everybody live a happy life.
I decided to join Home Care Heroes to not only create lasting relationships with people of any ability and background- but also to broaden my experience of the world through others' perspectives and to share the way in which I approach and enjoy my own world with other people.
What have you learnt from your experience as a hero?
Working with people with different levels of disability, across a huge age range from ages 10 to 60 has opened my eyes more than I can imagine.
As well as gaining invaluable experience in interacting with people living with Autism, Schizophrenia, Aspergers and Dementia. I’ve been able to take home something else that I never expected and that’s an ability to find joy in the smallest of things.
From helping someone through their gym routine, bringing another person on an afternoon stroll and teaching another person how to do grocery shopping, I have learnt how patience and enthusiasm can turn everyday activities into memorable experiences.
Tell us about your favourite experience so far as a hero?
I've been able to gain incredible experiences in sharing my interests for dance, theatre and films. Thanks to the Home Care Heroes team, I was honoured to accompany someone to a Taylor Swift concert the concert of my childhood dreams! And in doing so, help to create an insanely memorable experience for a lovely client.
However, I’ll always deeply treasure little moments like playing cards in a park and strumming my ukulele on a gorgeous day at the beach with a client.
The euphoria I've felt in many moments throughout work has made both myself and my clients forget that there's nothing different between us.
We're just two people in one happy moment.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to future Heroes or someone looking to join?
So far, being a Hero has been both the toughest and most rewarding experience I've ever had. To potential heroes: don’t be afraid to take a step into the unknown. When you do, you’ll discover a whole new world of kind-hearted people who will help you develop social skills that can be found nowhere else.
The most important things to take with you into this journey are compassion, patience and most importantly, an open mind. As a hero, you’re in a unique position to make someone feel accepted and appreciated. Ask questions- share your passions and learn to find joy in theirs, and you’ll have a ball!
See more information about becoming a Hero here, and see if you have what it takes to become a Hero!