23 Jan Volunteer Profile: Meet Volunteer Co-ordinator Sue Jakob
Sue Jakob is the extraordinarily talented and passionate volunteer co-ordinator for Repair Cafe Ballarat.
Sue has been a part of driving the creation of the Repair Cafe and gathering a team of dedicated volunteers in Ballarat since the beginning stages of setting up the event. Now she has helped create a beautiful community.
Sue shares what drives her to help and a special memory from the Repair Cafe.
Tell us about yourself Sue.
My passion and profession is volunteering, and I work in volunteer management. I am also the ‘volunteer’ volunteer coordinator for Repair Café. I live just north of Ballarat, on 5 acres with my hubby Greg, one cat and one chicken. We are committed to sustainability and enjoy learning new ways of lessening our footprint. Having a large area of land has given us a great opportunity to plant many trees and shrubs. We have two beautiful daughters, one is studying environmental science and the other works in sustainable fashion. I enjoy gardening, cooking, reading, yoga, walking in the bush and wining and dining with friends.
Why did you want to volunteer with Repair Cafe?
I was inspired by Mary who spoke at a Volunteer Coordinators Network meeting earlier this year. She was looking for people to volunteer. This appealed to me because I feel it is a tangible way to help reduce waste in our community. And more specifically, I am able to use my volunteer management experience to assist Repair Café. And I love working with volunteers!
What has your experience on the working group been like?
Being part of the working group has been a wonderful experience. I feel humbled to have been part of the creation of the Repair Café, and to now work with a group of like-minded people, who care about reducing waste. The working group is so committed and hard-working, and it is a pleasure to be part of Mary’s dream to make it happen. We are creating a little community, and we are inviting members of the public into that community and we are educating them and spreading our passion.
What has been your favourite repair or story from the Repair Cafes?
I brought in a beautiful crocheted rug that belonged in my parent’s home, and is well over 50 years old. Two volunteers, Liz and Pauline agreed to mend some holes. They carefully went over it, and actually found that it had more holes than I realised. It is obviously deteriorating with age. What they don’t know, is that while they were gently repairing all the little holes, I was on the phone to the aged care facility where my father now lives, and he was being taken to hospital with a suspected lung infection. He lives quite a distance away, and I could not get there to be with him and I became anxious about him being alone in hospital. What Liz and Pauline were doing felt symbolic to me, and gave me comfort!
What is your hope for the future of the Repair Cafe?
I hope Repair Café continues and becomes imbedded in the Ballarat community as a monthly event. I hope that our message spreads and more and more people bring their items to be fixed. I hope that we are increasingly able to address people’s frustration at not being able to repair items, and I hope that the ‘right to repair’ becomes law. I hope we continually inspire people to want to be involved with Repair café and put their hands up to volunteer.