A week long celebration of our community's volunteers
Monday, 18 May, 2020 - 13:15
This week, from 18 to 24 May 2020, Council will highlight National Volunteer week by acknowledging a year of contributions by more than 180 people across six of our services. Unfortunatley, due to COVID-19 restrictions, face-to-face celebrations cannot take place, but that doesn't diminish just how important our volunteers are to all of us.
Mansfield Shire Mayor, Cr Marg Attley OAM, said every year Council marks the contribution of volunteers to Council initiatives and services like the library, L2P driving program, Physical Activity Groups, community bus, youth events and Meals on Wheels. “It’s a huge contribution volunteers make annually, and this year’s Volunteer Week slogan so nicely sums that up. What these community members do by volunteering is Changing Communities, Changing Lives.
“With the arrival of COVID-19 and only Meals on Wheels volunteering being permitted to continue since March, we know many of our long-standing volunteers were very disappointed to have the decision about volunteering during this time taken out of their hands. We want them to know their contribution is no less valued because of the pandemic rules,” she said.
“Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good without financial gain and it is part of the community spirit for which Mansfield is known. I really want to extend a sincere thank you to everyone who volunteers for Council programs but also more broadly across other organisations in our community,” said Cr Attley.
Emma McPherson has been volunteering in Mansfield for years; with Meals and Wheels on and off for eight years and with Mansfield arts groups, school committees and the welfare group. “I’ve always enjoyed volunteering. It’s a good way to meet people with a common interest and to give back to the community,” said Emma.
Emma and her husband, Cameron, have been delivering Meals on Wheels during the pandemic. “Going regularly to many of the same people gives us an opportunity to see how they’re going during these times. It might be the only visitor they have in a day. For us it is good too, it gets us out of the house for an hour or so and speaking to others,” she said. “I’d recommend volunteering to everyone. It’s satisfying and good for wellbeing; both ours and the people we volunteer with.”
Cr Attley said Council volunteers will this year be sent a certificate of appreciation and a small gift, and they are invited to join in the Volunteering Victoria Celebration. This is a broadcast program for the week with a combination of performances, panel discussions and professional development. It can be accessed here - www.volunteeringvictoria.org.au/events/national-volunteer-week-2/