Council applauds volunteers for making a difference
  • Monday 09 May 2016
Beerwah Library Adult Literacy volunteer - Maree Anderson

National Volunteer Week (May 9-15) is a time to recognise and support the valued contribution our volunteers make to the Sunshine Coast region.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said council’s adopted Social Strategy set a target of increasing the contribution of community members volunteering within our region from one in five to one in four.

“To assist in achieving this target, council provided free professional development and networking opportunities for the region’s dedicated volunteers at the Sunshine Coast Volunteer Expo on May 11,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The Expo also provides volunteer organisations and individuals an opportunity to connect and network and those interested in volunteering to find out the benefits.”

Community Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said this year’s National Volunteer Week theme is ‘Give Happy, Live Happy’.

“Research shows us volunteering makes people healthier and happier and can lead to better physical and mental health,” Cr McKay said.

“National Volunteer Week provides an opportunity for council to recognise and support the valued contribution our volunteers make to the Sunshine Coast region.”

Maree Anderson is one volunteer who is making a difference and reaping the rewards volunteering at Beerwah Library.

Maree said she retired from full time work in 2013 and feels honoured to serve the community by being a friend of the Beerwah Library.

“Our library is the hub of the community as it is a centre for learning, a meeting place, a fun outing for children, a place where you can sit and relax, read a paper or magazine and take in an ever changing environment,” she said.

“As a friend my volunteer duties are varied. One day I might find myself sewing children’s library bags which are sold as a fundraiser. Another day I’ll help prepare children’s craft activities, particularly associated with the themed children’s corner in the library.

“I have even promoted the benefits of being a library member at the pop-up library at the Beerwah Street Party and trained as an Adult Literacy Tutor.   Being an Adult Literacy Tutor is the most rewarding of all interactions I have as a friend of the library.

“Volunteering opens up many new opportunities to be involved in the community and maintain an active lifestyle.

“I was new to Beerwah when I retired and became a friend of Beerwah Library and found this a great way to meet new people and build connections in the community.

“I feel volunteering is also about taking an opportunity to transfer skills and knowledge, learned in the workforce, to other activities.

“Most of all, I like the people I meet, the friendships formed, the social aspects and partnership of a team approach and helping to achieve something worthwhile.

“I highly recommend volunteering, whatever form it takes. There is no pressure in giving your best and feeling appreciated for your efforts. Volunteering is an opportunity for lifelong learning.”

To find out about volunteer opportunities visit council’s website www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au