Volunteers: we need you back in Gippsland

Volunteers are vital to not just our local community, but our local economy.

According to Volunteering Victoria, the estimated value of volunteering within Victoria was over $58 billion in 2019. However, recent reports suggest volunteer numbers are yet to return to pre-Covid levels.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said that while he understands the pandemic meant many volunteers stepped away from their roles, it is time for Gippslanders to get back to doing what they do best – helping make Gippsland the best place to live and work!

“As a member of Sale Rotary Club and Seaspray Surf Lifesaving Club, I know first-hand the satisfaction you experience when you volunteer your time to better your community,” Mr O’Brien said.

“With SES Victoria recently reporting a “near decade low” number of volunteers and the recent cancellation of community events like the Meeniyan Garlic Festival due to a lack of volunteers, it’s clear that we need more Gippslanders to put their hand-up to help.

“Likewise we’ve seen operational volunteer firefighter numbers in the CFA fall by about 6000 statewide since 2015.

“If we want our community to be able to fully return to pre-covid times, we need to ensure our volunteer numbers also return.”

According to Volunteering Victoria, those aged over 65 made up 78.9 per cent of our volunteers in 2019, an age group that was also cited as the most at-risk throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

“We need to work together to fill this gap and help our local schools, committees, sporting clubs, charities and emergency response services thrive again.

“I’m encouraging anyone who is in a position to do so, to consider donating their time and skills locally.”

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