Groups meet in bid to attract more volunteers
Published Date: 22 Apr 2015
RURAL Fire Service (RFS) Canobolas zone manager David Hoadley says getting younger people to volunteer is an issue many not-for-profit organisations are facing in Orange.
By Alexandra King
Representatives from NSW Volunteering, the Centre for Volunteering and Volunteering Central West visited Orange to talk to organisations about the volunteer experience in Orange on Monday.
COMMUNITY TALKS: Volunteer co-ordinators (clockwise from front left) Allister Kable, Jill Kable, Robyn Neal, Michael Wansey, David Hoadley, Gillian Tagg, Helen Mullholland and Josh Wiseman talk with NSW Volunteers director Simon Watts (beige jacket) about the volunteer experience in Orange. Photo: JUDE KEOGH
The consultations were designed help NSW Volunteering improve the volunteer experience for individuals, and will contribute to national conversations on strengthening volunteering.
Mr Hoadley was one of 30 people at the afternoon tea meeting at Orange City Bowling Club, and said an issue discussed was the lack of young people giving up their time to volunteer.
"An issue is the fact that many of our volunteers are getting older and how difficult it is to involve new, younger people," he said.
"A lot of our volunteers are getting older and feel that there is not a willing supply of young people to take over their roles."
Mr Hoadley said the Canobolas Zone RFS had been fortunate to have enough new members sign up in recent years to ensure all roles were covered.
"We've been maintaining our numbers quite well; in the past five to 10 years we have actually had a slight increase in numbers, but we need that to build over the next 20 years or so we can keep doing what we're doing," he said.
However, Mr Hoadley said government promotion of volunteer roles was needed to ensure volunteering remained an attractive prospect to young people.
" Highlighted during the talks was that the government does need to highlight the benefits of volunteering," he said.
"A lot of these roles [at the RFS] are done by volunteers, and if they were to be filled by paid people, that would cost huge amount of money. We need volunteers to keep doing what we're doing."