trained family support volunteers
Very Special Kids’ programs and support would not be possible
without the generosity of volunteers who have been an integral
part of the organisation since our beginning.
2013 volunteer sessions
Wednesday 5 June
Wednesday 17 July
Tuesday 20 August
Wednesday 9 October
Volunteer information sessions run from 6.30pm-7.30pm.
Please phone 9804 6222 for more information on becoming a volunteer.
Click here to download the Trained Volunteer brochure
"This amazing family inspire me every time I see them."
Alisha McLauchlan, 27, completed the Family Support Volunteer training course in June 2009. Since then on top of university, she is currently completing her Masters in Genetic Counselling, working for the Genetic Counsellors at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and maintaining a social life, Alisha has also been spending a lot of her time with the Cutrale family and in particular 14 year old Georgia Cutrale.
Georgia’s younger brother Alex, 13, was diagnosed with a rare brain disorder called lissencephaly after suffering a seizure at three months old. Understandably, since then a lot of the family’s time and energy has been spent caring for Alex. Alisha sees Georgia every 2 weeks and they usually do ‘sporty’ activities, go to the movies or do some baking.
Georgia says she loves spending time with her ‘big sister and friend’ Alisha because it means she gets time out for herself. “I get to do things I wouldn’t normally get to do because Mum and Dad need to look after Alex most of the time.” Georgia says.
Alisha herself knows all too well how having a sibling with a life-threatening illness can impact on a young person’s life. Alisha says it was the experience of her own brother’s death that motivated her to become a Very Special Kids volunteer.
"I got involved because I had a brother who was really sick when I was growing up. When he passed away I decided I wanted to work in an organisation which supported families like mine, including siblings.” she said. “Very Special Kids is a perfect fit for me.”
Georgia's mother Sharon describes Alisha’s help as "absolutely amazing" and couldn't praise the Volunteer Program enough. "We are so indebted to Very Special Kids, and grateful. I don't think we could cope without them." Mrs Cutrale said.
Despite all she has been through Alisha remains positive about the impact her brother’s death has had on her life.
"There are a lot of repercussions from losing someone in your family. But we've tried to take it as positively as we can," she reflects." And because of it all I've met this amazing family who inspire me every time I see them."
If you are interested in becoming a Trained Family Support Volunteer, you will need to attend one of our regular information sessions which are held at Very Special Kids, 321 Glenferrie Rd, Malvern.
Here you will learn about the work and philosophy of Very Special Kids and how you can make a difference through volunteering. You will also be provided with information on Very Special Kids and the training program and a written application form.