Chorus: a fresh approach to community service

Chorus Kitchen volunteer Stephen Davies.
Chorus Kitchen volunteer Stephen Davies.

CHORUS is an organisation supporting seniors and those living with disability or mental illness across metro and regional WA.

With a team of more than 1000 staff and volunteers, Chorus provides in-home and community support, working alongside people so they can live the life they choose.

The service provider also offers opportunities for people to volunteer their time within their community.

Individuals and groups, including students and corporate groups, are all welcome with flexible hours and the chance to learn new skills alongside permanent team members.

In an industry often standardised, Chorus aims to do things differently, driven to deliver a fresh approach to people by putting the community back in community service.

While many of its services look quite utilitarian, such as gardening, home maintenance, meals, personal care, they are usually much more.

Chorus Bull Creek Multicultural Activity Centre customer outing.

Customers of the Chorus Kitchen meal service routinely acknowledge a volunteer as the only person they see that day or even week.

Gardening crews frequently take the time to enjoy a cuppa and a chat with customers.

In the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and mental health space, staff and volunteers support people in their goals to get out more, get fit or commence volunteering or work of their own.

Shawn Darroch completed several courses to up-skill himself, yet was struggling to find employment.

He began to work with Chorus Disability Employment Services consultant Nikkita Washington who discovered Shawn’s passion for gardening and suggested volunteering to build his skills and overcome new job anxiety.

Working quickly to train Shawn, the Chorus Gardening and Home Maintenance team set him up with a mentor to help develop his skills and knowledge.

Shawn Darroch (back row, second from the right) with the rest of the Chorus Safety Bay Gardening and Home Maintenance team.

Five months later, Shawn has become a paid staff member at Chorus and spreads words of encouragement to other job seekers at the Chorus Rockingham job club.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, but over time, with support from Nikkita, I started volunteering and then working for Chorus,” he said.

“I’m enjoying the work and I’m thankful for where I am now.”

The Chorus fresh approach is about connecting people to aspects of their community that give them a better quality of life.

It focuses not on the job being done, but the relationships created and the pride instilled in customers themselves, their homes or gardens.

If you need help in your home or garden, getting out and about, or would like to take part in social and wellness activities, Chorus is ready to partner with you so you can live independently in your own home.

To learn more about the Chorus Fresh Approach, watch the video below.

Find out more about Chorus at chorus.org.au or call 1800 264 268.