Over the next four weeks, the West Coast Sentinel will be highlighting its local volunteers, community organisations and the work done to benefit the region.
Volunteers contribute immensely to the fabric of our communities.
Whether it’s helping the hospital auxiliary or cooking sausages at a fair, the benefit for the region is immense.
Unfortunately, especially in rural areas, organisations are closing their doors as the hunt for volunteers becomes harder and the older philanthropists are not being replaced.
It is a situation that is becoming dire in some regions, especially as the national population is growing older and the younger generations are proclaiming to be “time poor”.
The Office for Volunteers survey “Volunteering in South Australia 2016” has provided information about the state of volunteering.
There was a slight increase in activities from the 2014 survey, with South Australians performing about 1.76 million volunteer hours per week.
Across the state organisations that benefited most were sport and physical recreation groups with welfare and community, religious and educational groups finishing in that order. The survey also showed regional residents were more likely to volunteer for sports and recreational groups as well as emergency services.
The most common reasons for volunteering were to help others and the community, to give something back to the community and to gain personal satisfaction.
Other benefits included creating friendships, increasing self-esteem and feeling a part of the community.
So over the next few weeks if you are not yet a volunteer, think about becoming one; it is not only you that will benefit but your friends, family and community.