The annual Byron Shire Volunteering Exhibition, which showcases more than 50 local organisations that use volunteers in their work, will this year hit the road for the first time.
The exhibition will be on display for three weeks: starting at the Ocean Shores Shopping centre on Monday and Tuesday September 24-25; then moving to Mullumbimby at the Byron Shire Council Chambers on October 2-3; and ending up in Byron Bay at the Community Centre on October 8-9.
We are community-minded folks in this area: the Byron Shire has one of the highest rates of volunteering in the country.
The Byron Community Centre runs a volunteer referral service with more than 55 organisations, representing the diversity of our society.
There are volunteering opportunities in many areas of life, including wildlife, pets, conservation and environment, aged care and disability, youth services, community transport, homeless outreach, the arts and recreation.
Pippy Wardell, Byron Community Centre’s Volunteer Hub co-ordinator, told Echonetdaily, ‘each year we refer more than 200 people to interesting volunteer jobs, with most of the volunteers saying that volunteering has benefited them in many ways’.
Cindy, a volunteer, says that volunteering ‘has given me a sense of belonging in the community and I always looks forward to my days spent at her volunteer job’.
Other people find that they gain new skills, confidence and beneficial community connections.
‘Engaging in volunteer work is a very satisfying and interesting pastime,’ says Pippy.
‘It creates community, introduces you to new adventures, gives you opportunities to learn new skills or utilise existing skills in a productive way for the community.
‘The exhibition showcases the wonderful work these organisations do for the community as well as listing the volunteer positions that are available at the different organisations.’
Qualified volunteer staff will be onsite at the exhibition to sign people up and refer them to an organisation of their choice.
‘It is always exciting to do something different, come and check out the exhibition, you just might find something that really picques your interest,’ says Pippi.