LASA says a national ‘thank you’ to the 70,000-plus volunteers who contribute so much to the wellbeing of over 1.3 million older Australians receiving home and residential care services.

Hundreds of LASA Members will be celebrating National Volunteer Week, with the theme of Changing Communities. Changing Lives.

“Our selfless volunteers really do change our communities and change the lives of older Australians, all year round,” said LASA CEO Sean Rooney.

“Visitation limits during the coronavirus pandemic have made conventional aged care volunteering more challenging but the dedication of volunteers has prompted new ways of doing things.”

In a normal year, volunteers contribute an estimated 743 million hours to the community but national emergencies during 2019 and 2020 have seen volunteers called on like never before.

The dedication of volunteers during the COVID-19 crisis has been highlighted through Brightwater Care, which issued an appeal for community members to connect with residents through chats, sing-a-longs and story time over the phone, plus hand-written letters, drawings and artwork.

“An additional 700 volunteers came forward for the Brightwater Buddies program,” Mr Rooney said.

“This positive response has been reflected in many places across the nation and shows the enthusiasm and imagination of volunteers, despite many of them having to stand aside due to age, health concerns or regular programs being put on hold.

“Volunteers are still on the frontline, helping and checking in on older people and supporting families during this unprecedented time.”

Mr Rooney encouraged people to celebrate the contribution of volunteers, through Volunteering Australia’s social media campaign.

Volunteering Australia is calling on all Australians to ‘wave your appreciation’ for volunteers by sharing a photo of themselves waving their hand of thanks using the hashtags #NVW2020 and #waveforvolunteers

More information on National Volunteer Week and volunteering is available here.

Contact: Nick Way 0419 835 449 nickw@lasa.asn.au