STAWELL - Volunteers at Grampians Community Health were rewarded for their commitment to the community at a special breakfast at the Goldfields Motor Inn.
Volunteers were treated to a traditional Australian breakfast, which included bacon and eggs, before being congratulated on their commitment to volunteering. Several certificates for service were then presented.
A highlight of the morning was the presentation of a 24 year service certificate to Ivy Bruechert. The certificate was presented to Ivy by volunteer co-ordinator, Sue Cunningham.
Ten year certificates were presented to Margaret Puddy and Alan Longstaff, while five year certificates were presented to Dot McIntosh, Bill McIntosh, Jan Murphy, Michael Gavin and Rose Hale.
Event organiser, Julie-Anne Burwood, said volunteering was vital to all communities.
"Volunteering is an important part of society, where people have the opportunity to participate in how their community is shaped," Ms Burwood said.
"For us, a not for profit organisation, volunteering is a valuable resource. To our organisation, you are extremely valuable.
"Grampians Community Health has more than 90 volunteers who are involved in a variety of activities, ranging from driving the Community Car, visiting isolated people in the community, welcoming people from different cultures, running the health and wellbeing exercise program and helping with practicalities of running an organisation such as ours."
Ms Burwood said volunteering has been found to help reduce feelings of personal isolation, encourages greater social contact and supports a greater sense of self worth.
"It also promotes personal growth often by challenging the stereotypes we have about different social groups. This works for both the volunteer and for the person being assisted," she said.
"A personal thank you was the form of recognition most organisations reported giving volunteers. Also being accepted as a valuable team member.
"This breakfast is a way of thanking you for your volunteer work and to let you know you are a valuable team member in our organisation."
Ms Burwood said the community car alone had travelled a total of 82,290 kilometres this year, which equates to 389 assisted transport appointments. The car has been to Melbourne, Ballarat, Horsham, Geelong and many other towns and cities in between throughout the year.
Other interesting statistics presented at the breakfast included:
83% of volunteers said their work as a volunteer has increased their sense of belonging to their community.
80% of volunteers said their volunteer role provided them with opportunities to learn.
60% of volunteers said they always feel their work makes a difference to the organisation they volunteer with and what it is trying to achieve.
In closing, Ms Burwood shared a quote that had appeared in a section of the Vol Vibes newsletter.
"People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they're going quicker and easier because they're travelling on the strength of one another."