I was recently invited by the Fremantle Volunteer Service to help them out taking photos of local volunteers out in the wild; doing their thing and supporting the local community. I’ve done a lot of volunteer work in my time, so I jumped at the opportunity to help showcase work that is often unsung. It was at times confronting, at others entertaining and interesting. I got to see the firing of the cannon at The Roundhouse, and met some lucky furry and feathered friends who’ve been given the chance at a new lease on life.
All the volunteers I was fortunate enough to meet were warm, friendly and happy to talk about the work their organisation does in the community as well as what they love about the work. Volunteering has been defined as “time willingly given for the common good without financial gain” (Volunteering Australia, 2017) and is the largest “employer” in Australia. Work carried out by volunteers makes “an estimated annual economic and social contribution of $290 billion” (Volunteering Australia, 2017); with 31% of Australia’s population offering their time voluntarily in their local community.
If you’ve ever considered volunteering why not take that step now? There are a number of organisations out there looking for people to support them! And it benefits you, as well as your local community. National Volunteer Week last week focused on the benefits of volunteering with their “Give Happy, Live Happy” campaign;
Volunteering and Happiness: THE FACTS
- Sustained volunteering is associated with better mental health
- A strong correlation exists between the well-being, happiness, health and longevity of people who are emotionally kind and compassionate in their charitable helping activities
- Altruistic emotions and behaviours are associated with greater well-being, health, and longevity
- The experience of helping others provides meaning, a sense of selfworth, a social role and health enhancement
- Volunteering is highly associated with greater health and happiness
(Volunteering Australia, 2017)
And a few links, for those of you based in Australia (or people who’re interested in learning more about volunteering).
- Volunteering Australia
- Seek; Volunteer Opportunities
- Fremantle Volunteer Service
- Rockingham Volunteer Centre
- Volunteer South West
Thank you to Julie from the Fremantle Volunteer Service and all the volunteers I was fortunate enough to meet; it was a privilege to get involved in showcasing your hard work.
Volunteering Australia (2017). This National Volunteer Week: Don’t weaken effective volunteering. [online] Available at: https://www.volunteeringaustralia.org/wp-content/uploads/NVW-2017-Media-Release.pdf [Accessed 18 May 2017].
Volunteering Australia (2017). Give Happy, Live Happy. [pdf] Volunteering Australia, p.1. Available at: https://www.volunteeringaustralia.org/wp-content/uploads/Fact-posters-NVW2017.pdf [Accessed 18 May 2017].
Platt, C. [Photographer] (2017). National Volunteer Week. [Photography] Copyright owned by The City of Fremantle: On display at the Fremantle Library.