Jacqui’s story of giving back
Hanover passionately believes in the invaluable contributions that volunteers make across all our services. They are an integral part of Hanover’s work in improving the lives of people experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness.
As we celebrate National Volunteers Week, Hanover recognises and acknowledges the unique skills and talents that volunteers have brought over the last 50 years to a wide range of programs, activities and events.
Since Year 8, helping others through volunteering has been a big part of Jacqui’s life.
“I was involved for a couple of years at high school with a community environmental program run by council. We’d occasionally go out and talk to primary schools about climate change, water management and bush fire dangers.”
During this time, Jacqui was also fundraising for the Salvation Army, was heavily involved in Rotary’s Interact Club and more recently she was raising awareness for Headspace around mental health issues.
After experiencing a lack of stable housing for the last few years, Jacqui recently moved into the Holmesglen Education First Youth Foyer in Glen Waverley. Previously, she’d been couch surfing and living in crisis accommodation. Run in partnership with Hanover and the Brotherhood of St Laurence, this purpose-built Foyer is designed to help young people that are either homeless or at risk of homelessness into education or training pathways.
Now in secure and affordable accommodation, Jacqui has embraced her new surroundings and is completing a Bachelor of Science degree. She has also started a new volunteering role for the Bendigo Bank’s Junior Observers Program.
“It’s interesting observing board meetings and getting an understanding on how the commercial world works. I really enjoy being part of Youth Foundation Manningham, which the Bendigo Bank sponsors, as we get to fund a variety of projects like social media campaigns to stop bullying and also get to support worthwhile charities.”
Jacqui says volunteering not only gives her the opportunity to give back to the community but also gives her life balance. And she’s as committed as ever. “I’m trying to start up an environmental initiative at my old high school; the original one kind of fell away when I left. And I still volunteer for Rotary when needed.”
Photo: Jacqui was finalist in the First National Real Estate Leadership Awards of the Victorian Young Achievers Awards. She took home the People’s Choice Award on the night.