Wide Bay Volunteers celebrated 20 years of community service today during which time they’ve helped more than 12,000 volunteers give back to the region.
Manager Rhonda White said it was a special occasion for the group which started in 1999.
“Since we started we’ve helped over 12,000 volunteers, we currently have 1500 on our books and in house we use about 40 of our own,” Rhonda said.
“We’re a registered charity. At the base level we help anybody that asks for our help but mostly we’re about finding resources for other not-for-profits.”
While the organisation is well known for assisting with volunteers Rhonda said many in the community didn’t realise Wide Bay Volunteers also helped with non-human resources.
“We have 300 member organisations that we help find volunteers but we do so much more than that.
“If they need mobile phones for instance we’ll help source a mobile phone for them or if they need help running an event we help run the event.”
The group assists with volunteers for a number of Council events including Chinese New Year and Bundy Flavours.
As a registered training organisation Wide Bay Volunteers also offers information technology (IT) training.
“We take donations of IT from all around the area and we use our IT room for training people that want to learn IT.
“We refurbish [old computers] and then we donate them to the people that can’t afford them.
“There’s all sorts of layers.”
Volunteers join Wide Bay group to celebrate 20 years
St Johns Ambulance Service joined Wide Bay Volunteers to mark its 20 year anniversary.
Community Services officer Graham Cole who coordinates St Johns’ volunteers said Wide Bay Volunteers was a valuable asset for the region.
“We rely on Wide Bay Volunteers to promote us and try and find new volunteers to keep up our numbers.”
He said they had about 11 volunteers at the moment and quite a few were needed to keep up with the demand for the “growing industry”.
“Volunteers are just incredible.
“They blow you away with how much they help.”
Carolyn Weekes, who volunteers two days a week at Wide Bay Volunteers, said her role was to match volunteers up with jobs.
“A lot of us have got so many skills we can bring to these jobs, we don’t need to be trained,” Carolyn said.
“A lot of them just want to make a difference.
“The younger ones just want work experience because obviously you can’t buy experience.
“It’s a great confidence builder for people.”
She said volunteering had been incredibly rewarding.
“I’ve made so many new friends here. We’re just such a really happy crowd.”
Rhonda said interested members of the community could register an interest to volunteer online.
“We take the focus on their volunteer journey.
“We hand hold them from the time they’re register until the time that they tell us they’re happy.”