Call for new volunteers to take up the challenge
We’re celebrating National Volunteer Week with a thank you to all those who help Council deliver a range of services and programs for our community, and also calling upon those who have thought about volunteering to give it a go.
National Volunteer Week runs from Monday 17 to Sunday 23 May and Council will mark the week with two events – a function to thank current volunteers and the annual Illawarra Volunteer Expo.
“Volunteering takes many different forms and includes Community Transport drivers, the volunteers at our Libraries, the Bushcare crews who plant trees and take care of natural spaces, the people who run educational tours at Wollongong Art Gallery to the volunteers on our Australia Day Committee,” Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.
“Wollongong is a big Council area that serves more than 218,000 residents. Our volunteers are an essential part of how we are able to offer a range of services to meet the diverse needs of our community.
“Council would like to acknowledge and thank our volunteers for their ongoing support despite the challenges of this year. In a usual year, our volunteers give up to 190,000 hours annually to their community through volunteering. This significant contribution is recognised by Council and our community.”
At Wollongong City Council, we operate a range of free programs to improve the lives of people in our community. Many of these community services rely on the support, time and care of volunteers.
We’re putting the call out to encourage people who haven’t volunteered before or want to start again, to take part in something new.
“Unfortunately, COVID-19 and the changing environment has meant that our volunteer numbers have dropped since pre-pandemic levels. This is consistent with volunteering statistics across Australia,” Cr Bradbery said.
“Now as we turn to a new normal for our community, we’re keen to start increasing our volunteer numbers again.”
On Thursday 20 May, from 9.30am to 3.30pm, Council will hold the annual Illawarra Volunteering Expo at the Town Hall to showcase different volunteering options available within the Illawarra region.
The event is free, and more than 20 community organisations will be in attendance to share volunteer opportunities to suit a variety of interests and passions.
“Whether you’re interested in supporting our refugee communities, want to help run a cultural event, passionate about aged care or interested in volunteering at a museum, there is something for everyone,” Cr Bradbery said.
“The Illawarra Volunteer Expo is the one-stop-shop for all your volunteer questions. If you’ve never volunteered before or want to get back into volunteering, I encourage you to come along and fine out more.”
On Wednesday 19 May, Council will also be holding a private event to thank our current volunteers. This event will be attended by the Lord Mayor and up to 150 volunteers from across a variety of Council services.
As always, if you’re planning on attending a Council event, remember to follow the current NSW Public Health Order. That means washing or sanitising your hands, wearing a mask where appropriate, keeping 1.5 metres away from others and staying home if you feel unwell.
Illawarra Volunteer Expo
WHEN: Thursday 20 May, from 9.30am to 3.30pm
WHERE: Wollongong Town Hall, corner of Crown and Kembla Street
COST: Free. Check in on arrival by using the Service NSW app.
The theme for this year’s National Volunteer Week is Recognise. Reconnect. Reimagine.