Childers couple Ian and Theresa Fyfe are just two of the Bundaberg Region’s volunteers who give their time to help others in the community.
As volunteers at Meals on Wheels Childers the reward for Ian and Theresa is knowing they’ve made a difference.
National Volunteer Week is an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers which this year will be held from 20-26 May.
Theresa has volunteered at Meals on Wheels for five years.
While Ian is fairly new to helping deliver meals to people in the community.
They both find immense pleasure in giving back.
Theresa said people in the Childers community were full of information and always willing to share a story or two when the volunteers delivered their food.
“They’re very appreciative of what you do for them,” Theresa said.
“We just take the meals in, have a yarn and see that they’re okay and off to the next one.”
Ian loves hearing the stories
Ian agreed, saying “there sure was some interesting characters out there”.
“I was a bit apprehensive to start but I love talking to the oldies,” Ian said.
“It’s interesting because you meet such a diversity of elderly people,” Ian said.
“I was pretty stuck in my shed at home so it’s got me out a bit more and enjoying it.
And in return Ian said he felt rewarded.
“They can’t thank you enough,” he said.
“They appreciate it so much, I think that’s what’s rewarding.”
Life stories flow from the community
“What they did – one bloke he used to drive steam trains at the mill and he was the first one I think to drive the diesel loco,” Ian said.
“They enjoy the company. I suppose it’s someone different than their normal run of people they see.
“You find out these sort of things and they’re real proud of what they’ve done.”
Volunteering comes as easy as finishing each other’s sentences
Ian said in his volunteer role he felt lucky to mix with people who needed his help.
He said someone had to do the job.
“Well if we didn’t do it …,” Ian started before Theresa interjected saying “…they’d miss out.”
“I don’t think governments or Councils can afford to do what volunteers do if they had to pay people to do it – it just wouldn’t happen.”
Mayor thanks volunteers
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey said volunteering was vital to the community.
“Volunteers are part of the fabric that blankets the whole of the community,” the Mayor said.
“They bring the Bundaberg Region together and give a sense of belonging.”
The Mayor said the Bundaberg Region volunteers helped the most disadvantaged in the community.
“I just want to say a big thank you to all of the volunteers for the time they give to the community,” he said.
“But also a big thank you to their families, because they sacrifice a lot of time.
National Volunteer Week a time to say thanks
“This special week is a time to say thank you to our volunteers for the hard work and dedication they give but also their families’ to allow a loved one to go out and serve the community.”
He said the community was in great hands because of the volunteers in the region.
“The greatest gift you can give is to help another human being,” Mayor Dempsey said.
Bundaberg Regional Council will hold a morning tea during National Volunteer Week to thank the many people who donate their time to Council facilities and initiatives.