Jamie is an active 22 year old man from Thornlie. He is a member of an indoor cricket team and a forward pocket for the Lynwood-Ferndale integrated footy team. Jamie is active in his community through sport and recreation, but he also likes to work. At the beginning of the year Jamie’s regular volunteering job (gardening for Sercul) came to an end, but Jamie wanted to continue volunteering.

Jamie gets a lot of self-esteem out of working. He will mention it to people when he first meets them that he works. He gets a lot of pride out of it. Jamie is strong, fit and likes to work outdoors.

Jamie wanted to continue gardening, so we approached Kaarakin, an animal rescue and and conservation organisation.

When Jamie first started at Kaarakin he was predominantly gardening and had little to do with the animals as he was apprehensive around the animals. It was also difficult for Jamie as he hadn’t made any social connections there.

At first the only person who really spoke to him was the volunteer co-ordinator. However, over some time workers up there would wave when they saw Jamie working. It then progressed to brief conversations when we ran into people in the shed as we were putting the tools away. In the following weeks these people who had spoken to us would stop their vehicles and have a chat with Jamie.

Now, everyone stops to have a chat with Jamie and he now has lunch with all his new friends every time he goes. His new mates also told him not to bother bringing lunch, as they had plenty of food for him, and that he could help himself to the food in their fridge and pantry. They have even given Jamie care packages to take home.

Jamie’s confidence around the animals has now improved markedly and he now does loads of jobs around Kaarakin. He now chops fruit for the animals, feeds the animals, uses the blower, uses the 6wd gator vehicle and mulches the gardens.

Jamie loves visiting everyone at Kaarakin each week and the staff and other volunteers enjoy spending time with him.