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750 million hours contributed

Volunteers who selflessly give their time to health services across rural South Australia are being thanked for their tireless dedication and support, the West Coast Sentinel reports.

During National Volunteer Week, Country Health SA chief executive officer Maree Geraghty thanked all of the volunteers who work in hospitals, aged care and community health facilities across the state.

“We are lucky to have so many generous and compassionate people – young and old – who help provide care and support for patients and their families across country South Australia,” she said.

“From Coober Pedy in the state’s north to Streaky Bay on the West Coast, from Port Pirie on the Spencer Gulf to Mount Gambier in the south east, nearly 1400 volunteers provide thousands of hours of service every year.

“Volunteers provide a raft of services, everything from running the local kiosk and managing fundraising events to driving people to medical appointments and providing companionship to aged care residents.”

There are more than 150 volunteers in the Eyre Peninsula and Far North region, including 30 in Ceduna.

Country Health SA regional director for Eyre and Far North Michele Smith said National Volunteer Week was an opportunity to acknowledge the hard work and selfless dedication of the region’s volunteers.

“Across our region, from Cowell to Ceduna and as far as Coober Pedy, volunteers help with activities for aged care residents, conduct fundraising, maintain gardens, and help staff at dinner time to provide meals to aged care residents,” she said.

“National Volunteer Week is a great opportunity to acknowledge our dedicated and hard-working volunteers.

In a statement, aged care provider Feros Care highlighted the incredible contribution volunteers make to society.

In fact, Australians are very generous in helping out others, with the most recent figures (2014) from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showing that more than a third of Australia’s population aged 15 and over volunteer in some capacity. That’s 5.8 million people or 31% of the population!

Over a 12-month period, voluntary work equalled 743 million hours contributed to the community, according to the ABS. That’s an enormous amount of selfless, unpaid work by wonderful people that give their time and energy to keeping the wheels of society turning, Feros Care Jennene Buckley says.

“Feros Care understands the value of volunteers, with so many extraordinary people helping out in various roles,” Jennene says.

“Volunteers are compassionate people, who genuinely care and want to help make a difference to the lives of those around them. In the last financial year, we had 129 active volunteers in the community and our residential villages, which is fantastic.”

FULL STORY

VOLUNTEERS WEEK: Health service volunteers acknowledged (West Coast Sentinel)

Volunteers contribute around 750 million hours to Australian communities each year (PR Wire)

Volunteer Week 2017