Noosa Council is encouraging more locals to become ‘casual volunteers’ in an attempt to increase the falling volunteering rates in Queensland.
Tomorrow (Wednesday 5 December) marks International Volunteer Day. The 2018 theme has been decreed by the United Nations as ‘Volunteers build Resilient Communities’.
According to the 2016 ABS Census, the number of volunteers in Queensland two years ago had fallen from 1.2 million in 2010 to just over 714,000 in 2016.
“Noosa is an incredibly giving community but we can always do more,” says Noosa Council Community Development Manager Alison Hamblin.
“So many people assume that volunteering means a long-term commitment with multiple hours every week, and because of that it’s something that less and less people are doing due to the busy pace of modern life.
“Council is a really important conduit in connecting local organisations with community members looking to help out, and we’re encouraging people with professional skill sets to consider casual volunteering, where they can do an hour here and there when it best fits their schedule.”
Dana Saulter is one of Noosa’s newest casual volunteers after reaching out to Council when she moved to the Shire from Jamaica a few months ago.
“I emailed Council and told them I’d be keen to volunteer with some local groups who may be in need of writing or PR help, and I was overwhelmed with the response.”
Dana has been volunteering with Noosa Community Gardens and Friends of Noosa Regional Gallery, writing content for brochures and newsletters.
“I’m fresh out of university having recently graduated with a degree in Communications Studies, so this type of casual volunteering helps me to develop my own skills as well as offer a wonderful way to become part of the local area and meet people,” says Dana.
“Above all, helping others makes you feel good and it’s nice to know that whatever success they have in the future, I’ve played a part in.”
In an effort to make it easier for local groups find volunteers with particular skills sets – and vice versa – Council’s Community Connect E-Newsletter now features a new ‘Volunteers Notice Board’ and takes submissions via firstname.lastname@example.org
Noosa Council will host an International Volunteers Day Picnic Brunch at Noosa Woods on Wednesday 5 December, 9 – 11am, for more than 200 local volunteers.