Howard and Mary Jones are Coast’s top volunteers

Volunteers from Berkeley Vale were recognised for their outstanding contribution at the Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards at Gosford Golf Club on Monday, September 11.

The top award went to Mr Howard and Ms Mary Jones from Berkeley Vale, who received both the Senior 2017 Central Coast Region Volunteer of the Year Award, and the overall regional winner’s award, for their work with Outback Links. Ms Laine Edwards of Berkeley Vale was also lucky enough to win the young volunteer of the year award as a Max Potential Coach for year 11 students. The Minister responsible for volunteering, Mr Ray Williams, said the awards are an important opportunity to celebrate the contribution of local volunteers. “The efforts of volunteers here today have, no doubt, greatly improved the lives of Central Coast residents. “The NSW Government acknowledges and thanks all volunteers for their valuable contributions and commitment to creating inclusive communities. “People who volunteer are often happier, healthier and more connected to their communities,” Mr Williams said. Ms Gemma Rygate, CEO of the Centre for volunteering, praised Howard and Mary Jones’ volunteer work with Outback Links. “Outback Links connects skilled volunteers with people in remote Australia who could use a helping hand, and Howard and Mary have spent hundreds of hours, and travelled thousands of kilometres across the country, to help families in need. “They have done farm work, repairs around the house, gardening, cooking, cleaning and child minding, making many friendships with outback families. “The Volunteer of the Year Awards recognise the nation working hard at a grassroots level to deliver resilient and compassionate communities,” said Ms Rygate. ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said the club industry was pleased to be Principal Corporate Partner of the 11th Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards. “On behalf of 1,300 member clubs, ClubsNSW recognises and acknowledges the valuable efforts of the 2.4 million volunteers in NSW. “Clubs across NSW generate over 40,000 volunteers in the club industry who dedicate more than a million hours of their time per year. “We are incredibly grateful for their enormous contribution in building and strengthening our local communities,” Mr Ball Said. Sources: Media Release, Jilea Morrad, Centre for Volunteering