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13 Jul
Connecting to the community at St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital

Connecting to the community at St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital

Through Workpower’s partnership with St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital, Gloria is connecting to the community through volunteering. Taking part in the hospital’s book loan services helps her develop skills, build confidence, and connect with new people.

Connecting through work experience

Gloria has worked with her Support Coach Emma over the last two years as she transitions from school into the workforce. Her current goal is to find a full-time career.

She’s completed various work experience placements to explore her options. This includes assisting staff in the School Holiday Program to coordinate activities. She’s also gained some administration experience through Workpower.

After taking care of young children through the School Holiday Program, Gloria discovered an interest in working with people and the community. From here she decided her career should be people-orientated.

A new volunteer role

A people-orientated career requires great interpersonal skills. Workpower was able to provide the opportunity for Gloria to volunteer with St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital through a corporate partnership developed in the last year.

Prior to COVID-19 community restrictions, the hospital delivered a book loan service to in-house patients. This service provides personal interaction with people who are away from home, and may be looking for comfort through a book and a friendly hello.

This volunteer role resumed in April and Gloria was happy to give it a try.

Now every Thursday Gloria and Emma fill a trolley with a range of books from the hospital’s library. Once full, they take the trolley through three wards across the hospital and drop by each patient’s room.

For the first few weeks, Emma supported Gloria to pick books suitable to those in the hospital and complete visits to each ward. After a month, Gloria’s confidence grew and she was happy to see patients by herself.

Developing interpersonal skills

Throughout this opportunity and with Workpower’s support, Gloria learned to introduce herself and strike up a conversation with each person. Each week Gloria feels more relaxed around new people and enjoys connecting with patients and learning about their lives.

In turn the patients look forward to Gloria’s company and learning about her interests in music and TV shows.

Through this placement Gloria is connecting with new people in the community and building interpersonal skills, whilst offering support to hospital patients.

Emma will continue working with Gloria to find full-time employment. In the meantime, Gloria’s enjoying her time at St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital. It’s certainly a feel-good experience for everyone involved!


Volunteering is one of the best ways we help people with disability start preparing for future employment. If you want to find your pathway then contact us on email or at 1800 610 665 today.

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