Volunteering Expo shares local opportunities

Sylvia Boss has been a Community Visitor volunteer for many years.

COFFS Harbour Neighbourhood Centre is partnering with ETC (Enterprise and Training Company) and local charities for The Coffs Harbour Volunteer Expo taking place Monday 14 November, from 12.00-noon – 2.00pm at the Cavanbah Centre.

The tried and trusted idea is to match people who want to volunteer with a host of local organisations that are seeking volunteers.

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“People volunteer for a wide variety of reasons, and many who begin volunteering find many more benefits than they ever planned,“ Di Woods, Manager at Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre told News Of The Area.

Volunteering offers people ways to build or share skills or develop confidence in a huge variety of roles, for others it provides opportunities to connect and build friendships with a broader diversity of people.

“Whatever the reason people choose to volunteer, those who do volunteer report feeling more connected to their community, with a strong sense of satisfaction that contributing to their community gives them, and feel much lower rates of stress, depression, and loneliness.”

The beauty of the expo is the opportunity it provides to broaden awareness and opportunity to connect with local services.

Numerous small, local organisations have been established from the ground up to meet local needs and generally support a unique offer in the community.

Many of these small organisations rely solely on volunteers to keep their doors open and fill community needs.

On any given day there are hundreds of roles available; ranging from barista work to web assitance, homeless support or visiting an older person who may be quite isolated.

“So, there is a role for everyone, no matter what you are interested in or what your skills are,” said Di.

It is all about aligning the potential volunteer’s values with that of the different organisations to get a good, sustainable match.

“Being able to meet and discuss what is involved face-to-face helps potential volunteers get a sense of what is a good fit for them,” said Di.

One of the best parts of volunteering is the range of people you meet.

Everyone comes from a different background and journey.

“It is this mix of people that you may otherwise not necessarily meet, yet you share the same values, so it just works, you just connect,” she said.

Sylvia Boss has been a Community Visitor volunteer for many years.

“I’ve found it immensely rewarding,” Sylvia told NOTA.

“I’ve always thought that it is important to keep our seniors, who have given so much, the time and support they deserve.

“Having a chat and coffee with the person I visit has been incredible.

“The things they have gone through and the stories they have to share are remarkable.

“Some of these would be lost if they had no one to share them with, especially when there are no family members living locally.”

Sylvia said it is lovely to be greeted with a warm smile.

“A chat and cup of coffee can go a long way to making a difference in someone’s life,” she said.

The Coffs Harbour Volunteer Expo will be taking place Monday, 14 November from .00-noon – 2.00pm at the Cavanbah Centre.

The event is free and afternoon tea will be provided.

Register your attendance at www.chnc.com.au/events/ or call 6648 3665.


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