For the last two years, Socrates has been caring for his mother who has diabetes and chronic arthritis.
At the same time, he began treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) himself.
Because he was struggling in his caring role, he also sought support from Carers South Australia, where he learned about Your Caring Way.
“I like doing things on my own. This is the sort of person that I am. I struggle to ask for help. But I needed help. Last year in October, I broke down,” he says.
Socrates was a taxi driver for 20 years and stopped working in 2009. He is currently on a Disability Support Pension and is not required to look for work.
However, after joining Your Caring Way he decided he wanted to do something different with his life.
“I read this story in your newsletter and I felt this urge to do something.”
“As a carer, you don’t realise how much you’re doing, but we need time to look at ourselves.”
“I completed the Skills for Success course. Volunteering didn’t come to my mind at the beginning, but I had a great Coach and then, my goal was to do volunteering work.”
“Also, my Placement Officer, helped me find volunteering opportunities available, close to my home and suitable for me.”
Last month, Socrates started working as a volunteer at Anglicare SA in the Lifestyle Program. He works two days a week and he’s also the Bus Driver, taking the residents on sightseeing trips and to events.
“I’m working one on one with the residents. There could be a variety of tasks involved. I am mainly helping staff out when they need it. “
“It’s a comfortable and relaxed environment. Sometimes the residents just want to have a chat. “
“I’m very grateful that I’ve been given this opportunity. I feel good. I had never done volunteering before and it’s working for me.”
“Being a taxi driver you’re a sole buddy. I had never worked in a place with other people. So, this is a really big change for me.”
“I’m volunteering I’m getting the hang of it. It opens up your eyes, you get to meet people in a different environment.”
Socrates enthusiasm to serve is evident and feels volunteering has enabled him to make a difference in the community, gain work experience and learn new skills.
“I am in a much better space now. I am meeting people, feeling part of the community and I have the opportunity to be doing something for myself.”
“It’s made a difference in my life. I withdrew from people, and it’s helped me connect with people again.”
“When you do volunteer work, you get experience and somewhere along the way, something happens.”
“If something is going to happen through my volunteering, I will let it happen. This could lead to paid employment, and I’ll be happy to do that too.”