Volunteers and staff were recognised at Graham House Community Centre's 30th anniversary in Murgon on Saturday, October 26, and again during yesterday’s International Volunteer Day. (PHOTO: Jessica McGrath)
Volunteers and staff were recognised at Graham House Community Centre's 30th anniversary in Murgon on Saturday, October 26, and again during yesterday’s International Volunteer Day. (PHOTO: Jessica McGrath)

Volunteers ‘the unsung heroes’ at community centre

“THEY are the unsung heroes in our lives — I can’t speak highly enough of them.”

This is the praise Graham House Community Centre’s Maree Anderson gave volunteers on International Volunteer Day yesterday.

The Murgon centre’s transport service co-ordinator said the team was constantly thanking their 60 active volunteers whom the centre relied heavily on.

“They’re our absolute lifeline, if we didn’t have volunteers doing what they do, we would not be able to exist,” she said.

The volunteers help out in all different areas, including helping with administration, being committee members, groundsmen and drivers.

“Without the volunteer drivers we would be able to do very little,” Ms Anderson said.

“Due to the amount of funding compared to what we have to provide, we simply couldn’t do without our volunteers.”

The centre is planning to undertake a skills audit to tap into the volunteers’ life experiences.

“Some of our volunteers are older and come from such vast backgrounds that there’s a wealth of knowledge and skills we are really quite keen to tap into,” Ms Anderson said.

Many of their drivers are retired freight drivers with a lot of knowledge from years on the road.

Graham House is always looking for more volunteers.

“The demand is ever increasing, we do have spots that we would like for more volunteers,” Ms Anderson said.

Acquiring more volunteers would mean the current volunteers could pursue a healthy balance between free time and volunteering so they do not burn out.

“We always like to promote we are flexible and the volunteers should do it because it’s beneficial for them as well as beneficial for us,” Ms Anderson said.

“If they are really enjoying it, they’ll do a good job.”

Ms Anderson said there were many dedicated volunteers in the region.

“The South Burnett would be lost without volunteers because they do so much in the visitor information centres and sporting clubs,” she said.

She said it was hard to ignore the benefits of volunteering.

“The benefits around volunteering are so amazing — active voluntarism helps with people’s physical and mental health,” she said.

“They are giving back to the community and it’s such a wonderful thing to do.”

International Volunteer Day recognises and celebrates the hard work and dedication of volunteers.

“We’re constantly thanking ours, because we think they are such top people in the community,” Ms Anderson said.

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