It’s a room of familiar faces, volunteers from the community, client volunteers; staff and regular visitors to Ozanam Community Centre catch up on each other’s news and enjoy morning tea.
Everyone has a different reason for volunteering, but everyone says that is gives them satisfaction to give back to their community.
“I live in North Melbourne,” says Jan, “so the clients are part of my community. I see the clients out and about and on the tram so it makes sense to volunteer here. I've only been here two months, I do the lunches. “
Betty has been volunteering for many years.
“It's really satisfying working in the Oz House kitchen. It's good to work as a volunteer I've formed very strong friendships with the other volunteers. I do lunch once a week, I always feel very satisfied when I leave. The meals are so good, it's wholesome so you know that if that's all someone eats they've ha d a nutritious meal.”
Lauren’s family emigrated from South Korea.
“I’m studying and I volunteer on reception at OCC and previously did lunch service at Oz House. My family instilled the value of social responsibility in me and my sister, they were full time carers. My sister is now a social worker and I'm studying mental health. If people have poor mental health then all their problems mount up. Before we emigrated, I'd never seen people sleeping on the street until I came here. I was really shocked.”