Volunteer drive backed by State Government

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Jane Kelsbie with Margaret River Senior High School emergency service cadets.
Camera IconJane Kelsbie with Margaret River Senior High School emergency service cadets. Credit: Supplied

Warren-Blackwood MLA Jane Kelsbie is encouraging residents across the region to put their hands up for much-valued volunteer roles in the community.

Despite volunteerism being described as the “lifeblood” of regional towns — and Augusta-Margaret River boasting some of the highest rates of volunteerism in the State — an ageing population, residential growth and increased visitation was putting some community groups at risk of drying up.

The new push comes as part of a State Government campaign “VOL_NTEER We need U”.

“Volunteers play such an important role in our local community, contributing their time, energy, and skills each year to deliver important community services, act as first responders, create vibrant events, and keep local sport running,” Ms Kelsbie said.

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“Volunteering, supporting community, and having fun while doing it is incredibly close to my heart — I’ve met some of my closest friends while volunteering and seen the positive impact it can have on mental health and wellbeing.

“I encourage anyone thinking about volunteering to put their hand up and see where it takes them — whether it be learning new skills, developing new friendships, or feeling more connected to their community.”

The rally cry was echoed by Augusta-Margaret River Shire president Paula Cristoffanini.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of regional communities in WA and indeed in our own community,” she said.

“From emergency services to sport and the arts, volunteers provide unerring service and are integral to having healthy regional communities.”

Cr Cristoffanini said volunteers already active in the region made a huge difference to social life for many residents.

“In Augusta-Margaret River, we are very lucky to have a high number of volunteers with over 28 per cent of our community volunteering with local groups and organisations,” she said.

“The Shire provides a host of community grants to local volunteer organisations, and each year we celebrate the hard work of our local volunteers through an array of events including National Volunteer Week in May and our much loved Volunteer of the Year celebration in December.

“Regional communities are always looking for more volunteers — they ensure our communities are healthy, happy and connected,” the president said.

“And as a Shire, we will continue to provide support to our volunteers each year to celebrate the vital role they play.”

The new State campaign has its own website to be found at www.wa.gov.au/volunteering.

Local volunteers could also visit www.volunteersouthwest.org.au.

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