The Joy of Giving – The Physiopedia Volunteer Journey

This year has found many people looking for a new challenge! The ongoing pandemic has changed many lives, some people have found themselves working on the frontline to fight the battle known as COVID others have found themselves with more time on their hands.  Whatever the situation it has been a time of reflection.  Was that the reason we had so many people sign up for our latest Physiopedia Volunteer Orientation Course?

Back in the summer when the Physiopedia Slack Channels were buzzing with activity we thought it would be a good idea to plan our next Volunteer Orientation Course.  Our last course was in February and saw our team grow with exceptional volunteers but February seemed like a lifetime away so we set a date for September.  With the lack of travel and the end of studies for some, we thought this would be a great time to open up the opportunity to join the ever-growing Physiopedia Volunteer team.

We set to work and before we knew it the applications started flooding in.  A few weeks before the course was to start we began putting things in place and counting the final numbers.  50… 60… and the enquiries kept growing.  It was unbelievable!  When the course finally started in September we had 90 people registered to start the course.  It was so exciting.

Over the next 4 weeks we led these 90 volunteers through gruelling tasks and a steep learning curve in creating and editing pages.  Slowly the number of volunteers decreased but what was more obvious than the diminishing numbers was the passion and determination of those volunteers who pushed through their comfort zone and worked extra long hours to learn new skills and complete their tasks.  The energy they had filled the channels, which were alive with questions and achievements but what was so amazing was the support and encouragement between the volunteers.

What was the driving force to keep moving forward? Well, that was one of the easiest questions to answer.  Time and time again we would hear how everyone loved Physiopedia and how it had saved them both during their studies and also when working with new and difficult cases. It was their “go-to” place.  Now they wanted to be part of that community and give back to Physiopedia and others, just as Physiopedia had given to them.  From day one Physiopedia had one main aim and that was:

To improve global health through universal access to physiotherapy knowledge. As a charity, a not-for profit organisation they set out to educate physiotherapists all over the world by creating a free wiki platform.

It was obvious from the new volunteers that they were achieving that mission –  there were people from all over the world and at all different stages of their careers.  From students to educators, from India to Australia everyone was coming together to give back.  There was no hierarchy just a group of people connected by this common goal.

Of course, not everyone finished the course and as we speak activity reports with final submissions are invading my inbox.  Everyone is now waiting with anticipation to join the Physiopedia Volunteer team to continue to grow the evidence-based content to share and help educate people all over the world.