Senior secondary students from The Springfield Anglican College (TSAC) regularly volunteer with a local outreach charity to connect with people living in crisis.
The students work with the team from Rosies – Friends on the Street to provide supplies to people in need in Ipswich.
This year, students are working in teams of 4 and will attend 15 sessions throughout the year, as part of the school’s Rosies Outreach Program.
Students are accompanied by TSAC’s College Chaplain, Reverend Jonathan Kemp, and hand out donated food, drinks, and blankets.
They also talk with clients from a range of ages and backgrounds, many of whom are struggling in the current economic climate.
According to the Australian Psychological Society, 1 in 4 Australians say they are currently experiencing an episode of loneliness.
And according to Relationships Australia, 1 in 10 Australians aged 15 and above report lacking social support.
Furthermore, social isolation is linked to poor physical and mental health.
Such facts drive the Rosies – Friends on the Street mission.
Although many of the charitable group’s regular visitors have housing or jobs, they still struggle to make ends meet – or simply lack a strong support system – according to the Rosies website.
Something as simple as a smile and a cup of coffee from a Rosies volunteer can be enough to help change someone’s self-worth and build confidence, the website says.
Volunteering forms part of the College’s service mission, and the school gives students support and training before they start volunteering.
Reverend Jonathan Kemp said the College’s focus on service is based on Christian ministry.
“When TSAC students volunteer in the community, they meet people from different walks of life and provide a warm meal and hot drink,” the Reverend said.
“As importantly, they speak with the young people and play games with the children. They learn that friendship and social connection is just as important as providing food and supplies.
“We don’t know everyone’s circumstances, but we know that there are people in need who are asking for a hand.
“It can be confronting to see people of all ages, including families with children and babies, coming to seek help and support.
“Volunteering encourages students to question their preconceptions about people who have been dealt a different hand in life, and give of themselves and their time to help people in need.”
For more information about Rosies – Friends on the Street, visit rosies.org.au.