Healing through volunteering: Amiee’s Story

Rosies’ mission is to always ensure no Queenslander feels left out or disconnected from their community. While Outreach is extremely important for our Patrons’ mental and physical wellbeing, our volunteers are equally rewarded through their service and dedication. One of our volunteers in Cairns, Aimee, knows the impact of this better than most. This is Amiee’s story:

Amiee on outreach

Hi! My name is Aimee. I’ve been in Cairns for over a year now and grew up on Magnetic Island. I spent 13 years in Perth where I started taking heavy drugs, dating abusive drug dealers and selling my body for drugs. I lived on the streets for about 5 – 6 years.

I spent countless nights without a home and countless days selling my body to pay for my drug habit and hustling just so I could get by. I spent a lot of time in women’s refuges in WA and spent a great deal of time around ‘bad boys’.

I started using drugs from a young age and never finished school. I then worked while still managing to take drugs. I lost touch with my friends and family and had nobody but myself to blame.

I lost myself for years. I wasn’t able to eat, sleep or live a normal life because my body relied on drugs and negative habits. I couldn’t go to the shop without having used or being with someone, I was co-dependent.

There have been times where my life was at risk. I overdosed many times. Once I was found in bush land in Western Australia, where I had over dosed and was burning from the heat, I was severely dehydrated, and my body was shutting down.

An angel managed to call the ambulance and I was in hospital overnight with nobody to visit me or ask if I was okay. Nobody was there to pick me up the next day when I needed someone – because I chose a life that was very lonely. I left the hospital that day and went back to my life of abuse and drugs.

Fast forward a few years from there – January 2022, when I was in hospital once again having experienced domestic violence. I was withdrawing from using and I had nobody, no home to go to and I was lost. It was then I asked for help – I asked my friends to fly me home. I needed out. Something or someone was watching me – I like to call it the Holy Spirit.

I arrived in Townsville and spent 3 months detoxing from my drug habit with my sister on Magnetic Island and moved to Cairns in April 2022.

I found myself. I found that without drugs I was a decent human being. I had heart, I had intelligence, I had passion and goals and I have now been sober for 16 months (May 2023). I have completed my Certificate 3 in Community Services, am applying for a Bachelor in Social Work at JCU and I have a goal that I will complete.

I love volunteering for Rosie’s because it gives me purpose and joy as I have been on the other side of it. Free of judgement, I am here for the patrons because I want them to know, it’s okay to not be okay.

Volunteering has given Aimee an opportunity to give back to her community and to develop a strong sense of achievement in helping others to combat loneliness and isolation.