20th May '19

Volunteers get as much out of volunteering as they give

National Volunteer Week, running from 20-26 May, is a chance to recognise the fantastic and invaluable service so many Australians give each day in volunteer roles across the country.

Volunteer Steve Donnelly has been a Transport Volunteer with LiveBetter Community Services for the last 12 months, spending one day a week transporting customers to medical appointments, social outings, grocery shops and more.

Originally from Wollongong, Steve moved to the Central West with his wife almost 20 years ago to be closer to family. Having worked as a Correctional Officer for 17 years in Bathurst, Steve said it was important to him to remain active – both physically and mentally in his retirement.

Steve found out about volunteering at LiveBetter through a friend, who mentioned the community service provider was seeking drivers for its community transport service. Now 70 years old, Steve says volunteering is a great way to keep himself active, fulfilled and most importantly not at home on the couch!

“It might not seem like a big deal but providing transport has such an impact on customers. Without us, some of them would be very isolated, with limited access to doctors, shops and social opportunities,” Steve said.

Aside from keeping him active and fulfilled, Steve also enjoys meeting new people and helping them get to where they need to go. “You get to know the customers and their individual routines really well, which is nice. I’d recommend volunteering at LiveBetter to anyone who is looking to give back and stay active.”

LiveBetter Chief Customer Officer, Chris Rawlins, said volunteers are a valuable part of the organisation’s vision by increasing the support LiveBetter can offer to individuals, families and communities.

“Volunteering is important to cohesive and sustainable communities in regional Australia – our volunteers tell us they are proud to make a difference and give back to their community,” said Mr Rawlins.

“LiveBetter values the broad contribution volunteers make and take this opportunity to say thank you to all those who give their time,” he said.

According to peak body Volunteering Australia, there are six million Australians who volunteer their time to help others – a contribution to the Australian economy worth $25.4 billion.

LiveBetter is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to enabling the people of regional Australia to live their best lives, currently delivering services in 50 towns across regional Eastern Australia. LiveBetter has more than 250 volunteers who generously give up their time to assist with transport services, social support groups, companion animal groups, walking groups, men’s and women’s groups and more. Together with more than 1,900 staff, they connect with 10,000 customers annually.

If you are interested in volunteering at LiveBetter, call us today on 1800 580 580 or email info@livebetter.org.au