Approaching retirement Jayne Mark knew she wanted to volunteer within her local Ballarat community. Thanks to a chance encounter on the train to Melbourne she discovered an opportunity to join Travellers Aid.

Chatting with a fellow traveller who turned out to be the organisation’s Ballarat site supervisor, Jayne learned about Travellers Aid’s new support service at Ballarat Train Station. Not long after, she became one of its first volunteers.

“I get a lot of satisfaction knowing I’m contributing to the Ballarat community,” Jayne says. 
“It’s a real sense of being worthwhile and people appreciating your help.”

In her 9am–12:30pm Wednesday shift Jayne makes herself known to travellers and watches for anyone needing assistance.

She recently assisted an older man returning home to Melbourne after an unexpected stay in hospital. She saw that he looked unwell and discovered he’d not eaten since the day before.

“I took him up to the station café for a drink, a sandwich and a cake and wheeled him back to platform two to wait for his train,” she says.

“Then I rang ahead to Southern Cross and organised for a Travellers Aid buggy to meet him at his platform and take him to the taxi rank so he could get home.”

Jayne encourages other locals to consider the well-supported and flexible volunteering role with Travellers Aid.

She says volunteers can also assist at major events supported by Travellers Aid, as she did at the Australian Open.

“Mainly just having the personality that you’re not afraid to talk to people, to ask them questions, to find out where they’re going and to assist them,” Jayne says.

Support travellers in Ballarat by becoming a Travellers Aid volunteer. Contact us on (03) 9654 2600 or email volunteers@travellersaid.org.au