Port Lincoln organisations look at volunteering

Several organisations who use volunteers in Port Lincoln will be involved in a discussion tomorrow to gain a bigger picture of volunteering and how to improve numbers across age groups.

The Port Lincoln Times will host a round table discussion with representatives from at least six organisations.

These are expected to include West Coast Youth and Community Support, SA Ambulance Service, Port Lincoln State Emergency Service and Rotary Club of Port Lincoln.

Volunteers are used in a number of fields across the community, whether it is in health, emergency services, social services or even sport.

Australian Bureau of Statistics’ last look at volunteering in Australia in 2014 found 5.8 million people, 31 per cent of Australian adults, participated in voluntary work, contributing 743 million hours to the community in the previous year.

The bureau announced this year it was collecting data from across Australia to inform current and emerging needs.

However the round table will look at what is needed in Port Lincoln as far as volunteering needs and how to improve numbers in the community.

West Coast Youth and Community Support chief executive officer Joanne Clark, who is expected to take part in the roundtable discussion, said one important area in Port Lincoln was “the need to recruit new members and younger members.”

She said organisations such as Port Lincoln Lions Club and Rotary Club of Port Lincoln were already looking at ways to accomplish this.

SA Ambulance Service is one organisation in need of volunteers and launched its ‘Take the Step’ campaign this month.

The campaign features volunteers from across the state and is aimed at showing how easy it is to sign up, train and cover rosters.

SA Ambulance has 1595 volunteers across South Australia, who attend regular training to maintain their practical and clinical knowledge.

SA Ambulance Service director of operations (country) David Place said the organisation was always looking at ways to attract new volunteers.

“Over the past few months we’ve introduced a range of programs to make volunteering easier,” he said.

You can fit volunteering in with your lifestyle and you can set the pace of your training to suit you.

“In fact you could be driving an ambulance, supporting an ambulance officer in just weeks, volunteering is easier than you think.”