A stitch in time from volunteers

SKILLS learned over a lifetime of working don’t have to go to waste when you retire says migrant support officer Anni Gallagher. 

But there is also something in it for volunteers who have not retired. 

By signing up to the Orange City Council’s migrant support mentoring connections program, participants get training and qualifications through TAFE. 

Ms Gallagher said council is able to start its next round of training on January 30 but the migrant support group is having trouble filling the spots. 

“[the TAFE course] gives them different training about what it means to be a mentor, information about cultural diversity and awareness and about ethics,” she said. 

Mentors help in a range of different ways from helping someone learn to read, speak English fluently or pass a citizenship test.

Volunteers would only need to give up an hour or two a week but the difference it makes to migrants and refugees is having the confidence to get by on a daily basis in Orange or sitting at home feeling isolated. 

“Some people have their own reasons for wanting to sign up like wanting to pass on skills they learnt in the workforce and some just want to give back, others have a few spare hours,” she said.  

“We’re interested in volunteers of all the life stages.”

Anyone interested in joining the mentor program can call 6393 8600.

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