The theme for National Volunteer Week 2021 is Recognise. Reconnect. Reimagine which acknowledges that it is time to:
Make sure you celebrate and thank volunteers for the vital role they play in our lives.
Western Sydney MRC is an essential service providing ongoing support to our clients and community. Our volunteers have continued to be part of the MRC Family supporting us to deliver services across many programs.
Volunteers show resilience and compassion towards our clients and communities by supporting our programs across Western Sydney MRC. We take this opportunity to hear from our Chair Councillor Nathan Hagarty, Volunteer Coordinator Sophia Strickland and Community Development Officer Nadia Bouchti.
Jamal is one of our volunteers – for almost three years.
“Jamal’s dedication and commitment to front desk and his own Mandeaen Community” Through Interpreting; referring people to different services. Western Sydney MRC recognises that our Volunteers build stronger communities, especially during times of need, crisis or isolation’
To what is important by giving our time to help others and ourselves.
In a year when many of us have experienced increased loneliness, mental health, or financial stress, volunteers have been there to continue that Community connection.
- Our CVS Volunteers have welcomed the idea of learning new ways to connect with the elderly community using technology to make those weekly connections.
- There are so many volunteers who have been supporting our Programs and their own success across the MRC. Admon’s, another of our dedicated volunteers is now in a paid part-time role at the MRC as a PeerLink Coordinator. Uncle Malcolm and Aunty Nita are valued elders for our Families and Children programs, making many appearances, donations and sharing their kindness and compassion.
- Evidence shows that volunteering connects us to others in our local communities, to better mental well-being or to potential pathways to employment.
- We acknowledge our voluntary skilled based Board for volunteering their time to help govern and drive Western Sydney MRC to meet its strategic plan. We rely on their skills to innovate and reimagine the future focus and community support at Western Sydney MRC.
- Through our volunteer-led English Connect Program, we have been supporting clients who have been in Australia for under 5 years to pass their Citizenship tests. The conversational English program is a light touch to learning English, it has assisted participants to build their confidence in an everyday setting and sitting a complex citizenship exam!
- Front Desk Volunteers who have joined and gained a wealth of experience supporting them to find meaningful employment.
How we can better support volunteers and communities they help.
Since 2014, Australia has seen a 20 per cent decline in the number of hours volunteers give.
During COVID-19, two-thirds of volunteers stopped working when they were needed most. A recent study highlighted that social purpose organizations continue to lose one in four volunteers due to illness or caring responsibilities. In the current changing environment, where Australians are time-poor and experiencing higher degrees of uncertainty and stress, we need to reimagine how we do things. Innovation, collaboration, and adaptation of practices and programs so we can better support and engage volunteers to continue the necessary and much-valued support work they undertake.
When we help others in our community or give our time to a cause we value, we also give back to ourselves.
When it comes to managing volunteers, induction, training, schedules, and support, this is a huge undertaking. We want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank our team member Sophia Strickland, with deep gratitude. Sophia works endlessly, always with a smile to welcome and build our extended volunteer family, supporting and nurturing them to be gain experience and fulfil their goals and dreams.
If you would like to Volunteer, please contact Sophia Strickland via email at email@example.com or visit our volunteer page on our website.