Volunteer Profile - Johno Jaensch
"Volunteering gives me a sense of purpose and assists with my healing"
With the contribution of dedicated volunteers, MIFSA is able to deliver and expand our full range of services while offering rewarding volunteering experiences in a safe and supportive environment. Johno Jaensch who volunteers his time for us at Wayville and Mannum shares his experience and the enjoyment he receives from volunteering.
How long have you been volunteering?
Over 3 years ago, in 2013, my mental health worker introduced me to MIFSA and I became a participant. I was only involved with the Out There program as I was interested in being active. I then started volunteering with MIFSA around March 2014 but needed to take a break from volunteering from June 2014 until late 2014. My Role As an Activity Program volunteer I help to support staff in the activity centre and on outings. My role includes helping to prepare for outings by filling in forms, photocopying, checking lists and supporting staff on outings. I also assist with the planning of outings and coming up with new ideas. I initiated the walking group which is led by volunteers and has been up and running for 9 months now and has proved popular even in this cold weather! I have taken a lead role in organising flexi Fridays in the activity centre. For some variety, I am now also helping out and volunteering with MIFSA at Mannum. This year I have also started volunteering at the MIFSA community fund raising events, including the Pie Ride, the Golf Day, and with a bike ride during the Royal Adelaide Show. This is mainly helping with cooking the BBQ. Outside of MIFSA I am also involved as a volunteer with the Mount Lofty Football club, running water to the players.
What does volunteering mean to you?
Volunteering gives me a feeling of wellbeing and of helping others. My history and lived experience of mental illness has given me the insight into the importance of exercise and socialisation. Volunteering gives me a sense of purpose and assists with my healing. It helps to keep me well. Volunteering at MIFSA has given me the opportunity to give back to MIFSA as they have helped enormously with my recovery on several occasions when I became unwell. At times I have taken on too much and I have needed to take a break from volunteering and this has been supported by MIFSA. It has been a journey in learning as I strive to find the right balance. MIFSA is a supportive environment. Volunteering gives me a sense of a brighter future and feelings of hope. I have found something that I like doing and it makes me feel good. Johno Jaensch MIFSA Volunteer (and all round great guy!)