Volunteer Profiles

Philippa - Metropolitan Branch

Philippa - Metropolitan Branch

Philippa joined Solve Disability Solutions in 1999, bring with her, sewing and craft skills. Philippa had worked as an Occupational Therapist until starting a family.

Philippa loves the challenge that Solve Disability Solutions projects present. They have varied from constructing a jolly jumper harness to designing customised pyjamas to making jaunty bandanna bibs for students with cerebral palsy.

To begin with, she likes to get as many details as possible about the client's request but keeps an open mind because after meeting the client, may find something quite different is required. She visits clients with a few props, designs and fabrics to demonstrate. She likes to make her items aesthetically pleasing for the client and is conscientious in finding appealing patterns for children's items, while selecting colours to suit the tastes of older clients.

 

David - Central Gippsland Branch

David - Central Gippsland Branch

David qualified as a Fitter and Machinist, and worked in various positions in the State Electricity Commission Power Plant in Gippsland. He joined the Central Gippsland Branch of Solve Disability Solutions in 1993.

One of the aspects that David most enjoys in his role at Solve Disability Solutions is the contact with other volunteers, especially the "older statesmen". He also enjoys the challenge of solving problems for the clients both simply and economically. When he is allocated a job, he bounces ideas around with the Project Coordinator, tries to think laterally and sleeps on it - inspiration usually follows!

One of his most memorable Solve Disability Solutions moments occured after fixing a removable hand rail to a trampoline, so that a young boy with muscular problems could jump on it like his brother. As soon as the rail was fixed in place, the boy was up and going for his life. The look on his face was priceless!

Kevin - Metropolitan Branch

Kevin - Metropolitan Branch

Kevin is a retired plumber who spent many years teaching within the TAFE system. He joined Solve Disability Solutions as a volunteer in 1993. Kevin has been involved in a wide range of projects over the years from modifications to wheelchairs,seating and support devices to finding ways to improve access to baths, toilets and kitchens.

 "What I enjoy most about Solve Disability Solutions is the personal contact and the satisfaction of problem solving - of getting something to work. I think sometimes the volunteer gets more from the experience than the person he or she assists."

One of Kevin's recent projects demonstrates how often the simplest solutions are the most effective. A woman was having trouble getting out of her car. After considering a wide and increasingly complicated range of options, the very simple solution of a piece of 80mm drainage pipe placed on the seat worked to give her a handhold to push herself up!

Liz - Sunraysia Branch

Liz - Sunraysia Branch

Liz is the Project Co-ordinator for the Sunraysia branch of Solve Disability Solutions. The Solve Disability Solutions philosophy had always appealed to Liz's "fix it" mentality so after attending a public meeting, she joined Solve Disability Solutions in 1993, helping to set up the Sunraysia branch. At the time, she hadn't worked as an Occupational Therapist for many years, and welcomed the opportunity to get back into this field. As the project co-ordinator, Liz finds it helpful to visit the client on her own first, to encourage them or their carer to talk about the problem and what solutions they may have to solve it. She can then assess whether a project is feasible before involving the appropriate volunteer. She and the volunteer then work as a team with the client to solve the problem. It is the teamwork and the resulting solution that she most enjoys in her role.

 

Kevin - East Gippsland

Kevin - East Gippsland

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Patrick - Metropolitan Branch

Patrick - Metropolitan Branch

Patrick Navascues joined Solve Disability Solutions in March 2001. Patrick has been involved with upholstery since he was 15 years old and runs his own upholstery business.  Patrick's workshop and enormous skills have come into good use over the past few years as he is often able to assist in adding the vital finishing touches to many projects.   In fact Patrick very much enjoys adding to projects to ensure the client gets the perfect and very comfortable result for their needs.Whilst Patrick has had many challenging and memorable projects the one that tested his skill and imagination was developing a UV resistant canopy for a mobility chair.  The client was extremely photosensitive so the windows and canopy had to be designed and made to ensure that UV light could be kept to an absolute minimum, but the client still needed to be able to get in and out of the chair easily.