National Volunteer Week: Volunteers the glue that binds community together

TEAM: Bill Parker, Ruby Cockburn, Dan Hudson and volunteer Paul Bennett at Community Transport Port Stephens. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts
TEAM: Bill Parker, Ruby Cockburn, Dan Hudson and volunteer Paul Bennett at Community Transport Port Stephens. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

Community Transport Port Stephens volunteers will be recognised next week as part the annual National Volunteer Week celebrations.

Chief executive officer Bill Parker said without its band of six dedicated volunteers Community Transport would not be able to provide the service that it does.

“Our volunteers are the glue that holds our service together,” he said.

Community Transport volunteers assist with driving vehicles, administration and helping on bus trips. Of its volunteers, three have been with the service for 10 years or longer, including Paul Bennett.

Mr Bennett has been a volunteer for a number of organisations and services, including SES, for 28 years. He has been with Community Transport for 11 years.

Community Transport Port Stephens volunteer Paul Bennett.

Community Transport Port Stephens volunteer Paul Bennett.

“I like getting out, meeting people, learning about the area,” Mr Bennett said when asked why he liked to volunteer. “You get pleasure out of talking to clients, getting to know them, and doing good in the community.”

Community Transport will hold a morning tea on May 22 to thank its volunteers.

National Volunteer Week runs May 21-27.

“I encourage people to nominate the selfless volunteers who keep our community running,” Port Stephens MP Kate Washington said.

“Volunteers are the backbone of the Port Stephens community. We have so many people who give their time generously to support worthy causes, I genuinely do not know how anything would get done without them.

“Around one in five people volunteer their time. If you aren’t yet a volunteer, then I really encourage you to get involved, whether it’s with a P&C, sporting club, Landcare group or something else.

“Volunteers are healthier, happier and more connected to their community.”

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