Vacen Taylor is an Australian author and a Rosies volunteer. She is also a screenwriter and emerging playwright. Vacen joined Rosies as part of our Street and Schoolies Safety Response outreaches in 2011.
“I have always believed that I should be more than the sum of my own world. I should actively support and assist others and not just those who surround me either through family or friendship networks. That means to support those people who are often strangers and sometimes the most vulnerable people in our community. That’s what drives my continual commitment to night outreach. It’s not so different for Schoolies Week.”
Our Rosies volunteer elaborates on the risks school leavers might face at Schoolies and why it is essential not to ignore the need to support them by taking part in the Schoolies Safety Response outreach.
Often this week brings a lot of first time experiences for young people who are away from their family. They encounter new and sometimes different emotions and situations. Caring, supporting, assisting those young people who reach out to us over this time is why I myself and our Rosies volunteers are so passionate about Schoolies Week. Another very important part of why I enjoy the Schoolies Response is because of the wonderful volunteers I work with each night over that week. They are the true essence of Rosies, the most important people within our organisational framework.”
The impact our wonderful volunteers make on outreach can sometimes be explicitly expressed.
“One story I remember so very fondly was supporting a young schoolie who wasn’t feeling well. He had experienced lots of new things, along with tiredness and missing his mum and dad and it had become all too much. I sat with him for a long while, listening mostly. When he started to feel better I wished him well and to stay safe. The next night he returned with a box of chocolates for me. He thanked me for looking after him. I always accept, with gratitude, such wonderful acts of returned kindness for I have always believed we must acknowledge those who go that extra distance to thank us. This acknowledgement completes the cycle of support and kindness, and we all feel good about our actions.”