Tenterfield Total Care and Transport is more than what its title suggests. Total Care goes above and beyond to cater to the community, providing a variety of services including Meals on Wheels, Commonwealth Homes Support Program, NDIS, domestic services, personal care, shopping, social support and respite.
But they couldn’t do what they do without volunteers.
“Being a community service we couldn’t even run this place without volunteers. They are greatly valued by us, and as far as they go it is good for them to if they are seeking to gain employment” said Care Coordinator, Mary-Anne Smith.
All too often volunteering is overlooked as a path to employment, but for many employers it is more valuable than ever.
“Volunteering is a great way for us as employers to see and gauge and idea on what this person is going to be like, is this field suitable for them, what they are like with the clients. We observe all of this stuff. Reliability and just general character” Mary-Anne said.
Jenny Parker can attest to that. Jenny volunteered for two years at Tenterfield Total Care, building her confidence with the help of BEST Employment, and now she has ticked over six months on the books.
“I got a phone call from Dee-Anne and she asked me to come in. I thought I did something wrong and she asked would I like a job and I went ‘YES’.
“The volunteering did help me get the job.” Jenny said.
“I love it here and the clients are beautiful. We are like one great big family.”
Since taking on Meal on Wheels at the start of the year, Tenterfield Total Care has doubled its team to ten employees, all local people aimed at helping their community.
“Many services similar to us aren’t based in Tenterfield. I think we are one of the only ones who are actually in town. The locals like that and the clients appreciate it as well. They want to know their staff are local, they want to know we’re here and they can drop in anytime. Our door is always open.”
And staff have been pleasantly surprised on how rewarding the aged care industry can be.
“I’m loving it. I didn’t think I would but I actually do. Once you are in there and giving it a go it is completely different to what you think it is going to be. I like that you get to help people, you make a difference in their life. And they are so happy that they get that help” said Linda Read, Support Worker.
“I like that they come in and they are always so chirpy and they tell you all of their stories and they tell you things you don’t know. I learn something new every single day” said Kirsty Lissa- Activity Officer.
Tenterfield Total Care and Transport is proud to be community minded, and hire local.
“Finding staff in a small country town is hard, and we always rely on BEST Employment to help fill those gaps. The staff that BEST have given us are amazing” said Mary-Anne.