Volunteer Bob Knows Age is No Barrier | Youth Insearch


Fri, 22/05/2020 - 17:00



It’s National Volunteer Week, and as Program Quality and Partnerships Manager part of my job is looking after our incredible volunteers which happen to make up 96% of our organisation.

I could write forever about Bob.

Bob Lewis is, as he would like to tell us, 86 years young. He says it still astounds him that he is able to connect with the young people the way he does and how accepting they are of him. “It blows me away,” he says.

Bob is a volunteer Support Adult as well as donating significant funds to Youth Insearch. Bob has been involved with Youth Insearch since 1998 when he first heard about us on ABC Radio, and he attended his first program in 2002 – and has been hooked ever since.

Bob travels from Portland to Neerim East to attend the programs which is no mean feat – nearly 500km – on public transport for most of the way, and we pick him up to transport him when his closer. Why he still remains so involved all these years later is simple – he cares – and it’s obvious the young people care about Bob.

He’s never really been called Pop as some of our other older volunteers can be, they just call him Bob because that’s who he is, and they love him for that.

During breaks on a program you will see Bob sitting down having a cuppa with the young people talking about how they are going or catching up with them and their progress since the last program.

I am often amazed at young people who have come through immense difficulty, that they have a sense of maturity way beyond their years. That’s because they have found out they can overcome their problems, and be free to live satisfying lives.

- Bob, Support Adult, VIC

Bob always sends me an email after the program thanking me and asking for updates on how the young people are going.

When we had to switch over to virtual operations, there were a couple of phone calls with Bob about how he could be connected virtually. He made a goal to get a webcam and you can see by the look on his face he is very chuffed about getting it all to work. I coached him through it on the phone and now he can join into some of our virtual support group meetings in his role of Support Adult.

I think Youth Insearch helps to keep Bob young. He has been such a supporter of Youth Insearch and myself personally for many years and holds a special place in my heart for his kindness, the hours he has donated to us, and also the difference he has made to so many lives due to his generous donations.

To put it simply Bob is Priceless!

Love and Hugs to all our volunteers ♥

Sharon Schofield
Program Quality and Partnerships Manager
Youth Insearch