National Volunteer Week
This year, we find out what volunteering contribution seniors are making to the Northern Territory.
National Volunteer Week (NVW) is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteers. From Monday 17th to Sunday 23rd May 2021, NVW will celebrate the significant contribution of Australia’s almost six million volunteers. Each year these volunteers dedicate over 600 million hours to help others.
At COTA NT, we have 19 people who regularly volunteer for us; and for special events such as Expo, our Volunteer team grows to over 40. In the last financial year, over 1 100 hours were volunteered in support of our work. The replacement cost of their volunteering contribution would be approximately $41 089.*
We celebrate and recognise the work of our COTA NT volunteers with a thank you luncheon at the end of the year on International Volunteers Day. We mark National Volunteer Week by helping to raise awareness of the importance of volunteering throughout the Northern Territory and Australia.
This year, we are surveying seniors in the Territory to find out how much they are contributing to the NT through formal and informal volunteering hours. Formal volunteering being unpaid help in the form of time, service and/ or skills willingly given by an individual through recognised organisations or groups. Informal volunteering, the un-organised, unpaid help and care that occurs within the personal networks of family, friends, neighbours, acquaintances and local community.
If you are aged over 50 years and are volunteering in either a formal or informal way, we want you to take part in our Senior Territorians’ Volunteer Contributions 2021 survey project (you will need an email address to register and actively participate).
National Volunteer Week 2021
The theme for NVW 2021 is Recognise. Reconnect. Reimagine. which acknowledges that it is time to:
- RECOGNISE, celebrate and thank volunteers for the vital role they play in our lives.
Never has this been more evident than after a year where Australia has dealt with drought, devastating bushfires, floods and then a global pandemic. Amidst the pandemic, while many of us stayed home, volunteers continued to deliver essential services, organise food packages and offer care, comfort and more to support the well-being of Australians. Volunteers make our communities stronger, especially during times of need, crisis or isolation.
- RECONNECT to what is important by giving our time to help others and ourselves.
In a year when many of us have experienced increased loneliness or isolation, mental health or financial stress, volunteering can help. Evidence shows that volunteering connects us to others in our local communities, to better mental well-being or to potential pathways to employment. When we help others in our community or give our time to a cause we value, we also give back to ourselves. Explore volunteer opportunities by visiting www.GoVolunteer.com.au.
- REIMAGINE how we better support volunteers and communities they help.
Since 2014, Australia has seen a 20 per cent decline in the number of hours volunteers give. During COVID-19, two-thirds of volunteers stopped working and a recent study highlights that social purpose organisations continue to lose one in four volunteers due to illness or caring responsibilities. In the current changing environment, where Australians are time-poor and experiencing higher degrees of uncertainty and stress, we need to reimagine how we do things. We need to collaborate more and adapt our volunteering practices and programs so we can better support and engage volunteers to continue the necessary work that they do.
* Using Volunteering Qld Calculator