Mayor Andrew Antoniolli and SES volunteers celebrate at the 2017 International Volunteer Day Community Breakfast.

They don’t get paid. Their work can be long, difficult, thankless and arduous. So what makes a volunteer tick? What makes them do what they do? We discover 10 reasons volunteers find their roles rewarding, and 10 reasons they know they’re being appreciated.
EACH and every week, thousands of volunteers give their time to help improve the lives of others and enrich our community. They run local sporting clubs, man the visitor information centre and help in times of disaster. They come to the aid of wildlife, support charity organisations and host community events. So varied are the roles volunteers play that to list them all would be a major task. Each year Ipswich City Council, in partnership with Volunteering Services Australia, holds a free community breakfast to thank those who volunteer. Those present at this year’s breakfast were asked a series of questions including why they volunteer and how they know they are appreciated. Here’s what the volunteers had to say:
What is the most rewarding aspect about volunteering?

  • Being retired, it keeps me active so that I do not become a lounge lizard
  • Knowing that you are making a difference to people who need help in times of crisis
  • Helping the environment and animals who can’t help themselves
  • Having an impact on local and national mental health services using my lived experience to help others
  • Doing what I like and keeping alive the history of the railways in Queensland
  • Imparting knowledge, seeing the look of amazement on children’s faces
  • Making new friends, helping young people, feeling part of the community. Helping Ipswich be a safe and positive community
  • The great feeling of sharing my talent, treasure and time, being involved in the community, meeting new friends
  • People’s expression of joy at the help and purpose for the day’s existence
  • Bringing history to life for young people and enjoying the company of like-minded folk
How do you know your volunteering is being appreciated?

  • Smile on people’s faces
  • People say it and show it
  • I get nice thank you cards
  • When other people come up to me and thank me
  • I was off – for medical reasons – for about four months. The welcome back made it worth it
  • The eyes of my clients – the love in their eyes
  • Days after we have done a show, people come up and congratulate us and their happy faces are a great reward
  • Seeing the joy from what you have done for them and the good feeling it gives me
  • Warm welcome and great conversations
  • A smile and a sigh of relief
Ipswich City Council has a range of volunteering options. Find out more here.

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