VOLUNTEERING WITH SOUL: Lismore Regional Mission's pastoral support assistant Evelyn Daley is flanked by volunteers John Mace and Lola Ingram ahead of a fundraising event to help school children start the day with a good breakfast.
VOLUNTEERING WITH SOUL: Lismore Regional Mission's pastoral support assistant Evelyn Daley is flanked by volunteers John Mace and Lola Ingram ahead of a fundraising event to help school children start the day with a good breakfast. Alison Paterson

Be one in six million and volunteer: OPINION

IF YOU are feeling like you need to add some zing to your life means you're probably ripe to step up and volunteer.

Wear your heart on your sleeve and help out a cause you believe in by giving something of yourself.

In another life I was a volunteer firefighter for nearly eight years.

One of the reasons I joined was because I figured if my parents house caught fire or they were in a car accident, then I'd want someone to get out of bed and go help, so it's the least I could do myself.

Amid the motor vehicle accidents, bush and structure fires, HAZMAT and disaster incidents, was the camaraderie of turning out on freezing Sunday at 3am for a malfunctioning fire alarm, someone mistaking a barbecue for a garage fire or locking their dog in the car with their keys in the boot after a big night out.

Not only did I learn lots of new skills, and made friends, I felt part of doing something which helped the people in the small town where I lived.

But you don't have to join an emergency services organisation to volunteer - there's plenty of groups who would love to welcome your skills.

From the local school to community gardening, sporting and service clubs, you name an interest, there's an opportunity to get involved.

Now is the perfect time because May 8 to 14 is National Volunteer Week (NVW), an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation's volunteers.

Around 31 % of the population or 5.8 million (yes, you read correctly) volunteers in some capacity, so if you look around your workplace, place of study or even down your street, you'll be seeing people who make a wonderful difference to your community.

Volunteering touches every section of Australian society including, but not limited to education, emergency services, sport and recreation, arts and heritage as well as the social services.

The far-reaching contribution volunteering makes builds strong and resilient Australian communities

During NVW there will be thousands of events held to say thank you to the 6 million Australians who volunteer including breakfasts, morning/afternoon teas, and luncheons as well as open days, award ceremonies, picnics, forums and training sessions.

Volunteering is a tower of strength in our communities with 5.8 million Australians or 31 per cent of the population volunteering, making an estimated annual contribution of $290 billion to our economic and social good.

So get out and volunteer.

You'll be part of something great you'll make even greater.



Gold and glory for local gin

Gold and glory for local gin

Bottoms up as Brookie's Dry Gin and Slow Gin win gold

Watch out for 'huge' redback spiders under park seats

Watch out for 'huge' redback spiders under park seats

"I was sitting 5cm from two really big ones”

REVIEW: Breath, does it live up to the hype?

REVIEW: Breath, does it live up to the hype?

Simon Baker will present two advance screening in Ballina tomorrow

Local Partners