Volunteering in the Inner West

For more than 50 years, Canada Bay Club has not only been a welcoming place to meet and socialise, it has played a pivotal role in the Inner West community through its support of local schools, community groups, charities, not-for-profit and sporting organisations. Many of these rely on the tireless work of volunteers, who, through their support and commitment, truly embody the community spirit. Some six million Australians regularly volunteer their time and skills around the country – they are the backbone of communities large and small. Without the hours, days and years of unpaid assistance, unique skills, emotional support and sheer hard work put in by volunteers around the country, many individuals, groups and larger organisations simply would not be able to function.

But the benefits from volunteering flow both ways… It has long been understood that volunteering can bring participants a real sense of purpose and meaning to their lives. It’s even said to help alleviate stress and depression, and promote general wellbeing. Who doesn’t feel great when they help someone in some way, however small? Making connections and building friendships, as well as increasing a sense of self-worth, are all invaluable gifts that come from contributing time and energy to your local community.

At Canada Bay Club, we proudly support a number of local organisations, many of which are always keen to attract new volunteers. One of these, Drummoyne Community Centre (DCC), has been an essential hub for the people of the Inner West for 40 years, working with the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) to provide a wide range of resources, services and information. As well, DCC’s partnership with the City of Canada Bay Council allows it to run language programs, The Bay Rider (a shuttle service utilising buses and volunteer car drivers to help residents to access facilities and services in the area), parenting programs, events and more. DCC is currently looking for volunteers with cars to help out with its Ring & Ride door-to-door service, as well as volunteers in a number of other areas, including fund-raising, clerical support and legal advice. Find out more at https://www.dcc.org.au

Inner West Neighbour Aid’s (IWNA) role is to provide both practical and social support to those in our community who want to live independently at home for as long as they can. It aims to promote social inclusion alongside independence by offering services as diverse as gardening, social outings and home visits. This invaluable local organisation is always looking for new volunteers to add to its register, no matter how much or little time they may have to offer. In particular, volunteers able to help with gardening, social outings, dog walking and home visits will be greeted with open arms! Contact IWNA at http://www.iwna.com.au

This year’s National Volunteer Week, run by Volunteering Australia, will span the week of 20-26 May, with the theme of “Making a World of Difference”. Events around the country will include breakfasts, morning teas, lunches, picnics and more, as well as award ceremonies, forums and training opportunities. It’s an opportunity to thank those givers around the world who, like the countless members of our own community here in the Inner West, offer their support, time and care to others to truly make a difference to their lives. Now, that’s definitely something worth celebrating.

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