This week is National Volunteer Week (17th - 23rd May) and this year’s themes are recognise, reconnect and reimagine.
RECOGNISE, celebrate and thank volunteers for the vital role they play in our lives.
RECONNECT to what is important by giving our time to help others and ourselves.
REIMAGINE how we better support volunteers and communities they help.
Over the past year and thanks to the hard work and dedication of Nat, our Volunteer and Events Lead, our WAGEC Volunteer Program has grown substantially. Along with the number of volunteers growing to an astonishing 340, the strengths and abilities of our volunteers has also diversified allowing for different volunteer jobs and opportunities across the organisation.
Last year’s Covid lockdowns also forced us to reimagine how we engage with volunteers across Australia. Along with our core group of Sydney volunteers who support staff and clients at our crisis accommodations, with our children and young people programs and with donations, we now have a strong team of creative volunteers, marketing and branding volunteers and legal volunteers who support WAGEC from their living rooms.
This National Volunteer Week we want to recognise the incredible job our volunteers do and the vital role they play in our organisation. In keeping with the theme, reconnect, we asked our volunteers why they decide to volunteer and what was something they have learn during their time with us.
This is what some of them said.
“Everyone I am in contact with at WAGEC, Ozharvest and even clients at the refuges are all super-friendly, grateful and kind people. I hope I’ve learned to be a little more like that in my own work and life.” – Nick Richards
“Volunteering is always gratifying and I have been surprised how even small tasks can have large positives. I like to think everything I can do helps ensure funds are focused on maintaining safe, comfortable spaces for women and children.” – Sam Laporte
“I wanted to help make a difference and do my bit to support women and kids in need.” – Bo Horton
“In such a short time I have witnessed the time and effort staff and volunteers put in order to raise funds and donations for communities in need.” – Fatemeh Hatami
Our WAGEC volunteers are part of our team. They make the work we do possible. Here are what some of our staff said about working alongside volunteers.
“Luke is an all-round legend and is always so willing to lend a hand, even when he’s got a super busy life and demanding job. If the world had more people like Luke in it, it would definitely be a better and brighter place.” – WAGEC Case Manager
“Millie has made such a huge effort and committed so much time to WAGEC. Millie started as a conversational partner with my client - They were going to the art gallery and other cultural adventures. My client told me she was thoroughly enjoying her time spent with Millie. Millie has gone on now to be a mentor with the same client. Her volunteer hours have made such a different to this client’s life. Millie has also committed time to delivering items between our sites and helping out with little tasks.” – WAGEC Case Manager
“Our creative volunteers are awesome! It’s so exciting seeing them use the brand in a way that is truly unique to them as a creative. A massive shout out to Sarah Clunie. She is always enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and happy to help. She designed all of the banners at our Walk for WAGEC —which looked frickin’ amazing!” – WAGEC Creative/Advocacy Lead
“Holly House would like to thank the wonderful Annie and Ruth for the nourishment of our gardens and families at Holly House. Always willing to muck in and get dirty with their snail hunts and our front yard refurb Annie and Ruth have gifted our house and families with their knowledge, humour and green thumbs. A huge Holly House clap for Annie and Ruth! We look forward to more fun Fridays in the garden.” – WAGEC Case Manager
From everyone at WAGEC we want to say thank you WAGEC volunteers and volunteers across Australia who give their time to help others.