Celebrating southern volunteers

National Volunteer Week: Southern Volunteers Jackie, Di, Cindy, Mary, Dorothy and Dale are taking the time to recognise fellow volunteers across the Fleurieu.

National Volunteer Week: Southern Volunteers Jackie, Di, Cindy, Mary, Dorothy and Dale are taking the time to recognise fellow volunteers across the Fleurieu.

Volunteers across the country are being recognised as part of National Volunteer Week which runs between May 20-26, and Southern Volunteering are busy acknowledging the many local volunteers who donate their time to help others.

Southern Volunteering who are based in Victor Harbor, work as a referral centre for not for profit organisations that run volunteer programs and pair them with community members who are looking to volunteer across the Fleurieu.

According to the 2016 Census, 27 percent of people on the Fleurieu volunteer (compared to 21 percent nationally) and Southern Volunteering Regional Coordinator, Jackie Horton said a high proportion of the population on the Fleurieu do volunteer work in all ways, shapes and forms.

"The many people who volunteer don't do it for recognition, but this is their week and it helps put their role within the community at the forefront of people's minds," she said.

"National Volunteer Week is about acknowledging and thanking all the volunteers within the community and what they contribute.

"On most occasions, the focus is on what the volunteer is doing for the organisation, but equally when you talk to volunteers, it's also about what they get out of it, and really what they receive is what they give, and that's the joy of volunteering."

Southern Volunteering works to ensure volunteers are placed in roles which make the best use of their talents.

"We match potential volunteers to roles which are the best fit for them," said Jackie.

"People usually want to volunteer in a role that is going to reflect their skills, experiences and passions."

Southern Volunteering has four Volunteer Referral Officers who can help people discover what type of volunteer work fits them best.

The organisation which works across Victor Harbor, Alexandrina and Yankalilla council districts, currently has 51 agencies advertising over 100 volunteer positions which offer varied commitments, from two hours per fortnight to fifteen hours (plus) per week or even for one off events.

Southern Volunteering also have a 'VIBE' focus which stands for "Valuing Individuals Background and Experience."

The southern Fleurieu's demographics mean there is a retiring population that should have an opportunity to volunteer in a role where their skills, experience and expertise can continue be utilised in a volunteer role and this program has recently been relaunched thanks to new funding from the SA Office of Ageing Well in the Department for Health and Wellbeing.