In honour of National Volunteer Week (16 – 22 May) Good Sammy is appealing for Western Australians to return to volunteering as COVID has devastated volunteer numbers across the not-for-profit sector.
Balcatta resident and Good Sammy volunteer, Lynne Bowes, has been volunteering at the Balcatta Op Shop since retiring from a 40-year nursing career. Ms Bowes uses her skills and knowledge in interior decorating and home staging to enhance the overall store appearance - as seen in her latest Easter displays.
“Volunteering is so important. Not only are you helping others, but you are also giving something of yourself, whether it be a skill, compassion, empathy or simply a smile,” Ms Bowes said.
According to the latest data released by Volunteers WA, there has been an overall loss of more than 150,000 volunteers in the last six years resulting in a 22% reduction. Annual volunteering hours have also decreased almost 35% in the last six years.
COVID had a dramatic impact on volunteering with 64.2% of people in Western Australia stopping volunteering as of April 2020.
Good Sammy has felt the strain of lessening volunteer numbers.
Chief People and Culture, Kathryn Laferla said our volunteers are such a valued and important part of our team and culture at Good Sammy.
We have amazing volunteers across all sectors of Good Sammy, from students and job seekers looking to gain valuable work experience, through to retirees looking to give back and maintain social connections.
Volunteers add value to our team with their expertise and life experience they bring to the role. In return we offer on the job training, in store discounts, volunteer awards and the opportunity to make great friends.
We are so thankful to those who donate their time to help provide a service that helps others and helps the environment. Volunteering brings people together, builds strong bonds and communities, allows people to connect and provides a sense of purpose.
We urge those who have previously volunteered to come back or those who have never volunteered to consider taking that first step. - Laferla
Good Sammy has 26 Op Shops across Western Australia from Albany to Geraldton and Bowes added she immediately knew she wanted to volunteer at the Balcatta store after meeting with Linda, the manager.
I felt welcomed and valued immediately. I was told once that volunteering is our rent for living on this earth and I have never agreed with something more. - Ms Bowes
Founded in 1958, Good Sammy is a social enterprise focused on providing employment opportunities and pathways for Western Australians with disability. If you would like to volunteer with us, click here.