Jackson School and Western Health Volunteer Program

The Jackson School Action Team commenced in 2013 and Western Health Sunshine Hospital has been involved since the beginning.

Senior students at Jackson School have participated in the Western Health Sunshine Hospital volunteer program. The opportunity followed after a conversation with Jo Spence, Volunteer Manager at Western Health.

Jo Spence has been involved in the Jackson School Action Team since the beginning and has developed her knowledge around different community initiatives. Jo finds her involvement with the Action team extremely valuable as she can share this knowledge with her staff and volunteers. Furthermore, the local community connections like the Jackson School partnership have enhanced the community engagement program at Sunshine Hospital.

One of the many highlights of the partnership project is watching the students integrate into the volunteer roles at Sunshine Hospital. The staff and patients thoroughly enjoy having the students read and hand out newspapers and magazines to the patients in the ward. The students are seen as part of the family at Sunshine Hospital.

A key aspect to the successful partnership is both parties commitment to the Action Team model and the unique relationship between Sunshine Hospital and Jackson School. For Jo Spence, that is attending the Action group meetings once a term and for Jackson School to hold similar values to Western Health.

A Teacher’s perspective of the Jackson School Action team is the successful relationships that have been developed with local organisations resulting in new learning experiences for the senior students.  The highlight for Jackson school are the range of programs established with Sunshine Hospital including, volunteering, garden maintenance, OP shop retail work, library distribution, student performance, community celebrations and reading to patients.

One of the reasons why the community partnership with Sunshine Hospital has been successful is due to the fact that Jackson School have been open to new concepts and were willing to take risks and try new things. Additionally, Jackson School has been adaptive in allowing teachers to consistently be involved in the Action group team meetings.