Cayley, like all of us, wears many hats. She is a mum, wife, Training Administrator for Volunteering North Queensland, President of local charity, Unlock the Lachs and volunteer.

Cayley was honoured to receive an invitation to say a few words to the Mater Hospital’s volunteers at a luncheon to celebrate National Volunteer Week.

Talking about the positive benefits of volunteering to the community, this is what Cayley had to say:

“Over the past few weeks I’ve been making notes on the industries, Government Departments and community organisations that rely upon volunteers to provide their services and I will address those shortly.

I also researched the actual question, “what are the positive benefits of volunteering to the community”. The answer seemed to be a lot of statistics and I found it interesting that most of the literature was what the benefit is TO the volunteer not to the community. Of course, you and I both know that there are many personal benefits to volunteering and you already know why you selflessly contribute, so this week is an opportunity for the us, the community, to thank you.

I’m going to start by listing the faculties that rely upon volunteers :

·     Health, mental health, allied health, rehabilitation
·       Intervention, drug & alcohol addiction
·       Children & youth services, foster care, early childhood development
·       Homelessness, vulnerable, welfare, poverty, housing
·       University studies, research
·       Aged care, respite
·       Disability
·       Community information services
·       Environmental & sustainability responsibilities
·       Tourism, marketing, events, digital communications
·       Family and relationship networks
·       The Arts
·       Education
·       Junior, senior, local, state and national Sport
·       Employment, training & upskilling
·       Outreach
·       Church groups, Spirituality
·       Emergency services, disaster relief, recovery
·       Veteran affairs
·       Human rights
·       Advocacy
·       Animal welfare
·       Charity

Isn’t that amazing? Aren’t you amazing? And, I have no doubt, there’s as many that I haven’t mentioned.

Bringing us back to the original question – “what are the positive benefits of volunteers to the community” and the simple answer is, it’s EVERYTHING. In fact, a community does not exist without you. I can’t think of a more precious offering.

When I look around at the faces in this room, I see kindness ready to eat lunch. I know from my own personal experience, that there would not be anybody that arrives at hospital feeling 100% calm, most are the complete opposite and quite often, this is a pivotal point of their life. No matter what the reason for the arrival of a patient or their support network, there is great apprehension and fear and the role you, the volunteers, play sets the tone for their whole experience.

Every day, you make an enormous difference to each of our lives by your assistance, smile and love. So, I am honoured to take this opportunity of National Volunteer Week to say, on behalf of our community, I sincerely thank you, from our hearts for yours.”

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