The theme for this year’s Volunteer Week is Recognise, Reconnect, Reimagine and Coast Shelter was one of many local groups doing just that at a special morning tea this week during National Volunteer Week, May 17-23.
“Our volunteers play a vital role in helping Coast Shelter achieve better outcomes for the people we serve,” CEO Michael Starr said.
“This has never been more evident than the last 12 months–a year in which Australia dealt with so much uncertainty.
“While many had to stay at home, Coast Shelter volunteers continued to assist us in delivering essential services to our vulnerable community.”
Services that volunteers helped deliver included: delivering emergency food packages; free haircuts; podiatry; packing Christmas gifts and hampers; financial assessment for NILS loans; helping young L-plate learners accrue their vital driving hours; and ensuring no one went without a warm cooked weekday lunch or dinner.
“We are proudly celebrating over 3,500 hours of generous volunteering time at Coast Shelter in the last 12 months,” Starr said.
Volunteer Coordinator, Kylie Hogan, said in a year when many in the community experienced increased loneliness, isolation and emotional stress, the volunteering connection at Coast Shelter remained intact.
“So much has been made possible through the commitment of our dedicated volunteers,” Hogan said.
“Volunteering Central Coast data reveals that since 2014, Australia has seen a 20 per cent decline in the number of hours volunteers give.
“During COVID-19, two-thirds of the nation’s volunteers had to stop services they were providing (and) a recent study highlights that social purpose organisations continue to lose one in four volunteers.
“In the current changing environment, where Australians are time poor and experiencing higher degrees of uncertainty and stress, Coast Shelter still achieves great outcomes with our dedicated 250+ volunteers.”
Media release, May 14