On Friday, the last day of National Volunteer Week, JNC held an afternoon event in Kensington to recognise and thank our volunteers.
JNC CEO Janet Green welcomed back volunteers. “We’ve had to put activities on hold during the pandemic, or run activities online, but are now starting to resume working with many of JNC’s volunteers,” she said, “and volunteers play a critical role.”
She added, “This is an occasion to recognise our volunteers: to say thank you, recognise the contribution you make and celebrate the different you make to our community. And it’s an opportunity to reimagine what volunteering looks like in our organisation.
“But one thing will always remain the same – the commitment and skills of our volunteers.”
Janet welcomed JNC’s special guest for the event: TV presenter, author and local resident Jules Sebastian from The Sebastian Foundation (TSF). TSF works with charities supporting vulnerable people, including people meeting mental health and domestic violence challenges.
Jules Sebastian noted that volunteers are indispensable to the work of her Foundation, and without them TSF couldn’t run many of its activities, such as the annual fundraising Christmas Carols concert. “You don’t know the difference you’re making,” she said. “It may seem like the smallest thing, but to that person, it’s the world.”
Jules asked three of JNC’s volunteers to share their experience of volunteering.
The smiles on people’s faces
Chris, who assists with managing JNC’s fleet of cars, made numerous food deliveries during the pandemic. He also mentors young drivers through WEAVE Youth & Community Services.
Bruce is a long-term volunteer with JNC. He offers phone support, making regular phone calls to people who are isolated. He also assists with JNC social outings. “Volunteering is about giving back,” he said. “We are lucky to have had a good life, but there are some people in our community who aren’t so fortunate, and it’s good to give back.”
Chris added, “You get a lot back yourself when you give something to your community.” During the time he made food deliveries, “You knew the people you were delivering food to relied on you, and you had to be there. A simple thank you was a great reward.”
Bruce said he felt rewarded by “the smiles on people’s faces when I went along as a volunteer on the bus outings with older people.” And he enjoys the experience of building up a relationship of trust with the people he supported on supported shopping outings.
Nora is a volunteer tutor with JNC’s Let’s Get Digital program, which enables people to become more familiar and confident with their digital devices — smartphones, laptops, tablets and computers. Like Bruce and Chris, Nora, a Girl Guide, is familiar with volunteering as a way of life. “It’s good to take time to help someone out,” she said.
“And,” Nora added, “We live in a world that’s quite scary at times. Being able to bring something better to that world is a good feeling.”
“It’s good to volunteer with your local organisation,“ Chris said. “It feels good knowing you can make a difference in your local area.”
Bruce added, “If you volunteer in your local area, you have a bond — you can discuss local issues. And it’s easy to relate to the person you’re supporting.”
In Nora’s view, “It’s good to volunteer with a smaller organisation: it allows you to interact regularly with people, and that helps you to feel you’re really making a difference.”
In the words of Janet Green, “Volunteers — we can’t do it without them.”
Find out about volunteering at JNC: email email@example.com
Phone 9349 8200
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More about National Volunteer Week