AdamAdam has a background in Computer Science and currently works as an Electrician. In his job he designs/programs control systems for large backup generators in buildings such as hospitals and data centers. His skills include electronics design/manufacture, computer programming, metal/plastics/woodwork and textiles. Being a volunteer for Solve appeals to Adam because the position involves problem solving and product design. For Adam, the challenge of making a custom device that helps another is fun and rewarding.

"Volunteering has been more enjoyable than I expected. One memorable moment for me was the unveiling of an iPad mount that was required to be stronger and more robust than anything commercially available. After installing it, the young boy wrestled with the device. Luckily it was able to withstand this extreme test. I was glad I had used tough materials and sturdy construction techniques!”

BillAs a fitter and turner, Bill has a background in press toolmaking and specialist machine design.

Having spent 30 years in industry, Bill worked for 15 years as a secondary school trade teacher, before retiring.

Bill joined Solve in 2011, when a friend enlisted his help on a particularly challenging Solve project. Bill got such satisfaction from seeing the pleasure and benefit the project gave to the recipient, that he decided to become a Solve Volunteer.

“I would encourage all volunteers to establish a buddy system with another volunteer. Other volunteers may have skills that you are lacking so you can chat to them and bounce ideas around before you get started."

JohnJohn joined Solve’s Barwon Branch in 2011. John is a qualified A-grade Electrician and spent his working life at Ford in Geelong. During his time at Ford, he worked his way up from being a tradesman to running an exhaust emission and fuel economy laboratory as well as the performance testing group.

“I find being able to use my brain and the trade skills I learnt over 40 years ago extremely challenging and satisfying (you never actually forget them – its amazing!). If I’m not sure of something, there is always a stack of experience within the Barwon Branch that I can draw on.”

As well as being a technical volunteer, John currently holds a position on the Solve Disability Solutions Board.

HenryHenry has worked for Solve for 33 years and in that time has been a member of 3 different branches. Henry’s background is as a fitter and turner, and then a qualified Civil Engineer for the Victorian Railways. Having started work in Geelong, he joined Solve’s Barwon Branch before moving to the Metropolitan Branch when his work relocated him to Melbourne. On retirement, Henry moved to the Mornington Peninsula and he is now a member of Solve’s Peninsula Branch!

“I enjoy the camaraderie amongst the other members of the Peninsula Branch, who brainstorm solutions to projects during branch meetings and are only a phone call away if I need some help.”

OwenHaving completed an apprenticeship as a Fitter and Machinist, Owen went on to complete a degree in Industrial Engineering and Computing. Owen worked in various manufacturing industries including machine building, base metals , automotive and paper making. In his project work for Solve, Owen uses his engineering, project management and people management skills, and his approach is to have lots of discussion, brainstorming, review and feedback with the project coordinator and the client to make sure the prototype is the best and most simple solution before producing the final product.

“Its important to understand the person’s capabilities, not make assumptions and not over-engineer. My projects have certainly challenged my mind and opened my eyes to some of the issues people face.”

EvanRetiring after 46 years as a metal worker building trucks, buses and refrigerated semi-trailers in the road transport industry, Evan was keen to take on voluntary work. Evan joined Solve and quickly became an integral member of the Freedom Wheels Team. In this role, Evan assists the team with running bike clinics as well as with building bikes in the workshop. Evan has found the friendly and supportive atmosphere amongst the volunteers and therapists on the Freedom Wheels team, and interaction with the clients and their families a highlight of his time at Solve.

“My projects with Freedom Wheels give me a great deal of satisfaction due to the relevance of this work in helping others not travelling so well in our community.”

PhilippaPhilippa joined Solve Disability Solutions in 1999, bringing 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.