On Monday 5 December 2016, Boroondara residents will join people around the world to celebrate International Volunteer Day. 

This day is an opportunity to highlight the contribution of volunteers and to showcase the difference they make in their communities.

Many of our residents currently volunteer in a local organisation – in fact, Boroondara has one of the highest volunteering rates in Victoria.

Volunteering makes a valuable contribution to a stronger Boroondara community by creating new connections between people and enabling local organisations to deliver important services.

Being a volunteer is terrific for wellbeing and a great way to learn new skills and make new friends. Volunteering is also a way to make a difference in your community.

Volunteers in and around the City of Boroondara

In the lead up to International Volunteer Day, we spoke with some local volunteers and asked them why they volunteer. This is what they had to say.

Peter Doyle has volunteered with Solve Disability Solutions for 5 years. “I volunteer because I feel that we all have the responsibility and ability to help make our communities and the lives of the people in our communities as good as they can be."

Lisa Qi volunteers with the Mandarin Storytelling program and playgroup at the Craig Family Centre. “I enjoy contributing to our community and it is a great way to update my knowledge and skills for the next steps in the workforce."

Bob Greaves OAM volunteers with Ardoch Youth Foundation. “As I still had many art and craft skills and was already a volunteer play specialist at the Frankston Hospital Paediatric unit, and a compulsive teacher, I thought why not volunteer. I now work with prep/one classes where I read a story and then they make the character from the story from the prefabricated timber pieces, such as the Kangaroo who could not hop, the Giraffe who could not dance and Elmer the elephant."

Rosemary Chapple has volunteered with the Youth Referral and Independent Person Program (YRIPP) through the Centre for Multicultural Youth for the last nine years! “I have been very lucky in my life, having parents who loved me, and who made sure I grew up with strong beliefs and a capacity to work hard and be honest. I was able to study in a secure home and excellent school.

Most of the young people with whom YRIPP volunteers work, do not have these opportunities. If I have skills that can help, then I would like to use them…I am sure it could be one of our volunteers who finally gets through to a young person and helps them make that change. It might be the first arrest or the tenth, but I think the role YRIPP plays is vitally important."

Are you looking to make a difference in your local community? The Boroondara Volunteer Resource Centre (BVRC) can connect you with volunteer opportunities in a diverse range of community organisations.

To learn more, contact the BVRC on 9278 4550 or email BVRC.