From the Newsroom

Volunteer to help make a difference

Emma Pritchard


Their names don’t appear on any payrolls, but their tireless efforts, dedication, and countless contributions can be seen everywhere throughout their local communities.

In recognition of National Volunteer Week (May 15-21), CEO of Volunteering Australia, Mark Pearce, is encouraging Clarence Valley residents to embrace the theme of the annual event for 2023, the change makers, by acknowledging local volunteers for the many positive differences they help to implement across the region.

“Volunteers are the heart and soul of communities around the country,” he said.

“And they deserve to be celebrated for the vital roles they play.

“Volunteers engage with their communities across a broad range of formal and informal settings, as well as in times of economic crisis and natural disasters.

“They are always there when they are needed, and the services they provide are invaluable to those around them.”

Mr Pearce is also encouraging more Clarence Valley residents to become volunteers.

“There are so many benefits which can be gained through volunteering,” he explained.

“Volunteering boosts mental health, self-esteem, and self-confidence, and it also helps to combat loneliness while providing people with a social platform to make them feel more connected with their community.

“Volunteering can also open up pathways to employment.

“It allows people to learn and further develop their skills and pursue their passions in areas of interest to them while allowing them the opportunity to effect positive and meaningful change.”

Jackie Mackay volunteers at The Salvation Army Family Store in Maclean two days a week, and said the role allows her to remain active within her local community while giving her a strong sense of fulfilment and satisfaction.

After retiring from her job in aged care, Ms Mackay said she wanted to continue to work with people, and said she chose to volunteer with The Salvation Army after being inspired by all the good work they do.

“I’ve been volunteering with them for 15 months now, and it was one of the best decisions I made,” she said.

“I wanted to do something which allowed me to be involved with my local community, and it’s a good social outlet for me as well.

“To anyone thinking of becoming a volunteer, I would just say go for it.

“We’re in great need of volunteers in the Clarence Valley at the moment, and even if you can only spare a couple of hours a week, that’s ok.

“Every little bit helps to make a difference.”