A helping hand where it counts

Vital Volunteers: Violin teacher and volunteer Birgit Loecker with PCYC assistant manager Dave Cleal presenting Orange PCYC scholarship winners Ayla Daskein and Lucy Goodacre with their awards. Photo: Jude Keogh.
Vital Volunteers: Violin teacher and volunteer Birgit Loecker with PCYC assistant manager Dave Cleal presenting Orange PCYC scholarship winners Ayla Daskein and Lucy Goodacre with their awards. Photo: Jude Keogh.

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We have all been asked to do it, most of us have thought about doing it and some have even followed through and done it. The “it” is volunteering, and volunteers are a vital part of every community. 

Volunteers assist people in need, ensure events and programs run successfully, help raise funds and awareness for charities, and perform many other duties throughout society.

National Volunteers Week will be celebrated from May 21 to 27 and is a chance for volunteers, organisations and the wider community to celebrate volunteer’s efforts, share their values, and to further promote the amazing work they do. 

Many groups rely heavily on volunteers in order to provide their services and facilities. The PCYC is one of these organisations with Orange’s assistant manager, Dave Cleal, saying that many programs simply wouldn’t run without volunteers and everyone should thank them for their hard work. 

“We are a non-profit organisation so we need volunteers to help with admin, fundraising and organising sports and other activities. Most of our volunteers help in our music programs with our coordinator, Robin Thompson, providing lessons on a range of instruments and providing three scholarships to the Conservatorium of Music,” he said.

Help when you need it most: Maureen Templar, Michelle Shepherd, Amanda Hansen and Candice du Tremolet from St John's are ready to assist in any situation at the Orange Rodeo. Photo: Declan Rurenga.

Help when you need it most: Maureen Templar, Michelle Shepherd, Amanda Hansen and Candice du Tremolet from St John's are ready to assist in any situation at the Orange Rodeo. Photo: Declan Rurenga.

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The theme for 2018 is ‘Give A Little, Change A Lot’, which is aimed at recognising the millions of volunteers who make a profound impact in their communities and on society, through giving a little of their time. 

It is not just in good times that volunteers are so vital to our communities. Ordinary Australians continually step up when called upon to help save individuals lives and property from accidents and injury, bush fires and floods.

Someone who knows the extraordinary lengths that volunteers go to is Maureen Templar, individual superintendent of St John Ambulance Orange Division. St John volunteers assist with health services at community events and Maureen is continually amazed at how generous people are. 

“A lot of our volunteers are moving into careers in paramedics or nursing, but they are always happy to give their time. It not only helps the community but also the volunteers as they learn practical and personal skills needed for their careers.”