The peak body for volunteering in NSW is calling on all political parties to provide greater support and recognition for the state’s two million volunteers to help grow volunteering and build strong and healthy communities.
The Centre for Volunteering has written to the major parties contesting the NSW Election asking them to outline their plans to grow volunteering and boost funding for volunteer management and recognition.
Rates of volunteering in NSW are amongst the lowest in the country, with only Queensland and the Northern Territory recording lower rates.
The latest report on volunteering trends also highlighted declines in formal volunteering across Australia.
The Centre for Volunteering CEO Gemma Rygate said inter-state research indicated that investment in volunteering support yielded a high return for the community.
“According to Volunteering WA research, every dollar invested in volunteering returns $4.50 in benefits to the community,” MS Rygate said.
“Those benefits are well reported, with healthy rates of volunteering helping to connect people in need to so many vital services.
“However, the evidence suggests that we are under-valuing the contribution of our volunteers in NSW.
“We need to know how and where people are volunteering in NSW so that we better understand the state of volunteering in this state.”
The Centre for Volunteering is calling on the incoming NSW Government to commit more support for volunteering by:
- Working to better understand the value and contribution of volunteering to the state and to regional communities
- Developing plans with measurable targets and additional new funding to grow rates of volunteering in NSW
- Providing greater support for professional development and volunteer management
- Properly funding volunteer recognition via the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards Program – Australia’s largest event recognising and celebrating volunteering
- Developing, funding and measuring an awareness campaign coinciding with the Volunteer of the Year Awards to promote volunteering; and
- Reinstating a Minister for Volunteering in NSW – providing the recognition, resourcing and accountability to support the volunteering sector.
“Government, business and the volunteering sector needs to work together to better understand the state of volunteering in NSW,” MS Rygate said.
“We also need to provide greater support for volunteer management and recognition, and develop real plans to encourage volunteering throughout the state.
“By working together we can elevate volunteering in NSW and reverse this trend.
The Centre for Volunteering has published its list of election priorities to help grow volunteering in NSW to help build strong and healthy communities.
To access the full report go to www.volunteering.com.au
Media contact: The Centre for Volunteering CEO Gemma Rygate 0429 449 139
About The Centre for Volunteering
The Centre for Volunteering is the peak body in NSW which promotes and supports volunteering and community participation. The Centre is a not-for-profit organisation with 40 years of history.
It includes Volunteering NSW, a volunteer referral service, and the National School of Volunteer Management, its RTO. The Centre provides leadership on volunteering issues in NSW and connects people and organisations to enrich the community through advocacy, volunteer referral, volunteer recognition, training, resource development, as well as information and educational services.