Introducing Emma from Latitude

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Tell us something about yourself

I am a single mother to a beautiful daughter who will be 9 in August (going on 35!) and the second eldest of seven kids; I have four sisters and two brothers. I have 8 nieces and 5 nephews. I became an Aunty for the first time on my eighteenth birthday; my nephew was 10 weeks premature and stole my birthday, and my daughter was born on his actual due date. Out of my nieces and nephews there are two sets of twins, 2 boys and 2 girls, and even though neither set are meant to be identical, they are the most identical fraternal (from two different eggs) twins you will ever see, and I find them very difficult to tell apart.

I volunteer with Ardoch because…

It is a fantastic program and I would love to think that I have had a positive influence in someone's life. Not coming from the best childhood myself, I would've gotten a kick out of someone older taking an interest in me as it wasn't something I could draw on from home.

What did you want to be when you were younger? 

I always wanted to be a teacher growing up and would often have my younger brothers, sisters, cousins, neighbours etc taking part in one of my classes during School Holidays and on the weekends. I had my own worksheets and everything for them to do! I am very happy to say that my dad persuaded me to choose another career path, because as much as I love teaching and assisting people (and my current role at Latitude incorporates this), I would not have had the patience day in and day out, for a roomful of screaming kids. I would LOVE to be an event organiser and have studied it at TAFE, but it's not what you know, it's who you know, and with my home situation, it would be a very difficult career for me to be undertaking right now. I am blessed that my role with Latitude allows me to take part in what we call our Affinity Program, and as well as being the Ardoch Coordinator, I also organise and run many events during the course of the year for our Office.

What is the highlight of your volunteering experience?

Gauging the Little Buddies' reactions when they visit our Office....it's great to hear how much they would LOVE to work in a place like Latitude Financial Services when they grow up (the Pool and Table Tennis tables are real drawcards). It really makes you value the small things we tend to take for granted on a daily basis.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering?

Do it! You won't regret it. Even though you will only have contact with your Buddy during the duration of the year, you will notice the changes in them through their interaction and engagement displayed in their letters, and when you meet them, especially on the last visit to the workplace at the end of the year, you really see when you have them standing there in front of you just how much of an impact taking the time to interact with them has meant to them (you may get teary but don't let that dissuade you).