Last week was volunteer week! Our annual opportunity to pause and reflect on the contribution that volunteers make, both to JNC and the wider community.
At JNC volunteers enable us to do more for the community, they ensure our bus outings run smoothly, make friendly phone calls to those isolated at home and even cook the BBQ at events, giving our social workers more time to work directly with the community. Volunteers ensure our Aged Services Newsletter gets into the post each month and they look after clients at our social groups – creating a welcoming space for them to attend. It may sound like a cliché to say that we can’t do it without them, but, we really can’t.
This year, in addition to joining with our friends at Waverly Connected to host a volunteer thank you event, we also sent our volunteers a metal eucalyptus leaf as a gift. A nod to our new logo which references the healing properties of the eucalyptus tree – and acts as a metaphor for the unique contribution that each volunteer makes to JNC. Like leaves upon a tree, our volunteers are often the part of the organisation that reaches out the furthest into the community adding their own unique shade and colour and energising those around them.
Although there is a national trend for less formal volunteering, it is heart-warming to know that there are still plenty of people out there willing to put their hand up and offer to get involved. It is always a pleasure to receive a new volunteer enquiry from somebody who wishes to spend their valuable time in support of their local community – and to hear JNC colleagues say how pleased they are to have another person on the team.
Volunteering Australia has branded this volunteer week in honour of “the change makers” and our volunteers do just that – but not necessarily in the way you might imagine – they enable change by helping us to put in the hard work, by listening carefully to our clients, and gently supporting them to succeed. Changemakers are not necessarily loud, radical thinkers – they are often the people quietly working away in the background, putting their values into action and spending their time to positively affect those around them.
Thank you JNC Volunteers – we couldn’t do it without you (and – we wouldn’t want to either).