Blue Mountains News

New Strategy to Future-Proof Volunteering

Source: Stuart Ayres MP, Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney
Posted: 11 Jul 2020
Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward and Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres at the Penrith launch.
A boost for volunteer participation and opportunities to create a more innovative sector are key to the NSW Government’s first 10-year Volunteering Strategy, launched in western Sydney this week.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said, drought, bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic have demonstrated the important and often lifesaving role volunteers play in our community.

“The past twelve months have brought into sharp focus just how critical volunteers are to our communities and our State,” Mr Ward said.

“Whether they are donating their time and skills responding to natural disasters or coaching children’s sport, volunteers are part of the fabric of our communities.

“This strategy focuses on the need to future-proof the volunteering sector, by using technology to promote participation and make volunteering more accessible.”

In May 2020, the NSW Government and the Centre for Volunteering joined forces to deliver the new Emergency Support Volunteering platform, helping connect willing volunteers with organisations in need of support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 50 organisations have signed up to the platform, with upwards of 2,000 people connected to volunteering opportunities across the state.

CEO of the Centre for Volunteering Gemma Rygate said the platform was the perfect example of innovative ways to promote volunteering opportunities.

“Making volunteer recruitment, retention and management easier is critical to helping volunteer-driven organisations thrive,” Ms Rygate said.

“We will continue to work closely with the NSW Government to promote volunteering opportunities and to recognise the outstanding contribution volunteers make to our society.”

About 2.1 million people volunteer their time to help others in NSW.

The launch was also an opportunity to present two Penrith locals with volunteering awards, Mr Aaron Tyers and Ms Gai Hawthorn
 
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