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Beryl's volunteering experience has been fulfilling

After 21 amazing years as one of our volunteers, Beryl has decided to retire. Over the decades she has helped to transform the lives of countless students. We are so very grateful to Beryl for her generous spirit and selfless work. Here’s her story.

“I was a teacher in music and the arts. When I retired, I didn't want to just stop teaching and not have specific things to do. I felt I had energy and I wanted to put it into the community in some way,” said Beryl.

“So I sought out an organisation that I thought was really credible and made inquiries with The Smith Family. I started off in reception and helping with the Christmas Toy and Book Appeal distribution.

I became involved with community relations. A lot of that was speaking to community groups. I particularly loved talking to children in schools.

“I didn't expect that my role at The Smith Family would increase so much over the years. But I was delighted that it did!"

“And through the student2student reading program, I was partnered with a school for fourteen years as the supervisor. I oversaw 10 to 14 students each year in that program and I loved it.

“I have also really enjoyed meeting people. Speaking with other volunteers at lunchtime and knowing their varied backgrounds was very enriching. I just feel so privileged to have been able to have this experience after I finished working!”

As an ex-teacher, Beryl knows the importance of education in helping students to break the cycle of disadvantage. And she repeatedly saw the tangible impacts of her efforts in students’ lives.

“So many disadvantaged young people drop out of school because they lack personal support or the finances to move forward. It’s unfair that everyone in Australia doesn't have the same opportunities,” said Beryl.

“Education is the basic thing that students need so they can choose what they would like to do in the future. I'm just amazed when I look at the results some of The Smith Family students have gone on to achieve, such as their Masters at university!

“The volunteering experience has been absolutely fulfilling. There's such respect between staff and volunteers and I've learned many new skills. I can hardly believe where the 21 years have gone.”

You can help disadvantaged Australian children get the most out of their education and create a better future for themselves. Join our community of volunteers and help us to provide the support these children need.

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