After getting sick of “sitting around staring at walls”, Townsville resident and Spinal Life Australia member Steven Nyholt wanted to get out the house and contribute to his community.
At the start of 2017, Steven signed up as a volunteer for the Townsville Tourism Information Centre, providing advice and guidance to visitors travelling to Townsville and Magnetic Island.
As National Volunteer Week kicks off today (May 21 until 27), Steven said volunteering was a decision he didn’t regret.
“I get to meet new people every day, share travel stories and jokes and bring a smile to people’s faces,” he said.
“Plus it gets me out of the house!”
Steven admitted he felt a little out of his depth at first.
“I sustained a spinal cord injury in a car accident in 1993 which left me with reduced movement of my legs and arms,” he said.
“I was worried that would make things difficult, but the Centre has been very accommodating and all the staff here have made me feel very welcome.
“I’ve been able to draw from my experiences when sharing accessibility advice on getting around Magnetic Island to visitors with a physical disability or reduced mobility.”
Steven has also previously volunteered in an administration role at disability support organisation Spinal Life Australia’s Townsville office.
“Spinal Life has previously supported me with transitioning to the NDIS and providing advice and guidance right after my injury, so it was good to be able to help out,” he said.
Steven said anyone thinking about volunteering should give it a go.
“I would definitely recommend going out to your community and seeing where you can help out,” he said.
“It’s worth it.”