Melinda lives in one of Unisson's shared living houses in Hornsby, and loves accessing her local community, being social and spending time with her Direct Support Professional (DSP), Caroline. Together, they have been exploring some of Melinda's passions and finding ways to weave these into her daily life.
The duo has formed an inspiring connection and always look forward to their time together. "I met Melinda over a year ago and from the time we first met, it felt like we had been friends for years! We are similar in age and enjoy a lot of the same hobbies," says Caroline.
"Our relationship is very easygoing and we always have lots to talk about. Melinda and I spend a lot of time laughing, there's never a dull moment."
Throughout their time together, focusing on accessing the community and achieving Melinda's goals has been a priority. "One of Melinda's goals was to volunteer some of her free time to a worthy charity," says Caroline, "and volunteering at the op shop seemed like a perfect fit because it combines Melinda's love of fashion, books and meeting new people."
Caroline has seen Melinda flourish during their time together, and credits this to her regular participation in the local community and her time spent volunteering at the op shop. "Volunteering has really given Melinda a confidence boost and a great sense of purpose. She takes her role very seriously and gives one hundred percent of her effort each time she goes to volunteer."
Melinda's passion for her role and about giving back shines through. "I love greeting customers and always meeting new people," she says. "I love helping other volunteers, sorting items and working on visual displays."
As well as volunteering her time at the op shop, Melinda also enjoys looking around the store for books and clothing items to purchase for herself: just another way she gives back to the charity.
"It's great being part of the community, I like to say hello to all the people I know when I see them" says Melinda.
With their shared love of fashion, Melinda and Caroline continue to spend time together volunteering; showing that giving back is always in style.