TWENTY of NSW’s most dedicated older volunteers have been selected as finalists for this year’s Senior Volunteer of the Year Award.
The volunteers were chosen to represent their towns, regions and organisations after a state-wide search spanning 112,000 individual nominations across 20 regional and suburban centres.
The Volunteer of the Year Awards are an annual program run by the Centre for Volunteering to recognise the outstanding work of volunteers across NSW. This includes volunteers aged 65 years and older.
Now in their 12th year the Awards have grown to become one of the biggest events recognising volunteering across the country.
Centre for Volunteering chief executive Gemma Rygate said volunteers aged over 65 made the greatest contribution of volunteer hours compared to any other age group.
“Almost one in three seniors volunteer their time across NSW each year without asking for anything in return,” Ms Rygate said.
It’s such a privilege to meet this group of volunteers who continue to give more of their time to keep our communities happy and healthy places.
“People aged 65 years or older also volunteer twice as many hours each year compared to people aged between 18 and 44 years of age.
“This is such a valuable contribution that can’t be overlooked.
“Each year we travel more than 10,000kms over eight weeks to meet with thousands of volunteers aged over 65, to celebrate their work and say thank you.
“It’s such a privilege to meet this group of volunteers who continue to give more of their time to keep our communities happy and healthy places.”
The finalists volunteer for a range of tasks including driving patients to medical treatments, providing smart clothes for unemployed people to attend interviews, manning a community kitchen which provides food for the disadvantaged, helping with the SES, Salvation Army and Riding for the Disabled.
The award winner will be announced in Sydney on November 30.