Volunteers are the essence of every community, on International Volunteer Day, we celebrate Gladstone's selfless contributors. Pictured are - Jodie Black, Gloria Holmes, Nancy Rendell, Jessica Heuschele, Lyn Hughes, Bev Fellows and Peter Miller.
Volunteers are the essence of every community, on International Volunteer Day, we celebrate Gladstone's selfless contributors. Pictured are - Jodie Black, Gloria Holmes, Nancy Rendell, Jessica Heuschele, Lyn Hughes, Bev Fellows and Peter Miller. Mike Richards GLA041213VOLT

Community is about give and take, so make time to pitch in

IT COMES as no surprise that most of us value our time.

Time is a common enemy of us all, yet forms the strongest commodity for social capital.

A new poll has shown 56% of Australians believe they have no time to spare to support organisations in need of volunteers.

But study author Seek is calling for people to rethink how everyone can give back.

International Day of Volunteers, on Thursday, is a time to celebrate and recognise the big-hearted qualities of volunteers in our community.

It is always hard trying to recruit. But it's important someone does.

Robert De Florian, a Gladstone State Emergency Services volunteer, is asking people to stop making excuses, and step up to strengthening the community we live in.

"Challenge yourself and your perceptions of what a volunteer is, and what they do," he said.

"I get a big kick out of volunteering my time and the challenge, discipline and skills that come with it."

Mr De Florian understands that now his children have left the family home, he had the opportunity to volunteer.

He said finding reliable and consistent volunteers had always been a challenge for the local SES branch, yet during times of crisis the community was dependant upon the small group that do.

"It is always hard trying to recruit. But it's important someone does."

Prospective SES volunteers are invited to attend the Wednesday evening meetings at 7.30pm, at Lamington Dr.

In 2013, Australians topped the World Giving Index, and our country is proud of our generosity.

But while we are quick to donate cash, it's our time that many essential charitable organisations are looking for, said Colin Carter, director of both Seek and World Vision Australia.

"SEEK Volunteer currently has more than 11,927 requests for volunteers across Australia," he said - a figure which jumps higher over the busy Christmas period.

Volunteers are the essence of every community, on International Volunteer Day, we celebrate Gladstone's selfless contributors. Pictured are - Jodie Black, Gloria Holmes, Nancy Rendell, Jessica Heuschele, Lyn Hughes, Marie Lynden, Nida Channell, Bev Fellows and Peter Miller.
Volunteers are the essence of every community, on International Volunteer Day, we celebrate Gladstone's selfless contributors. Pictured are - Jodie Black, Gloria Holmes, Nancy Rendell, Jessica Heuschele, Lyn Hughes, Marie Lynden, Nida Channell, Bev Fellows and Peter Miller. Mike Richards GLA041213VBRI

Community rapport is all give and take

AS THE old saying goes, if you want something done, give it to a busy person.

Peter Miller from Friends of the Theatre says volunteering isn't something you do in your spare time, it's something you make time to do.

"To be proud of your community, you need to be a part of the community," he said.

As well as the broader community benefiting, Bev Fellows, a Friends of the Theatre veteran, said the experience heightens self-esteem and provides a great social environment.

"I'm very passionate about the theatre, and it's great to belong to something bigger than yourself," she said.

Marie Lyden, a volunteer from the Visitor Centre, said she felt the need to return a favour.

"The people were so friendly when I moved here from Scotland, I wanted to give something back," she said.

Say thank you to all individuals who assist in your routine, expecting nothing back.

Need help?

If you are a charity organisation needing volunteers and would like to feature in our Time To Help feature early next year, please call Ebony on 4970 3040

Want to give back? Call Ebony 4970 3040 if you want to share your search for a new volunteer opportunity