Quiet thanks for volunteers
By ADRIAN MILLER
THE Clarence Valley relies heavily on volunteers and those who give their time and efforts for others for no reward other than to know they are doing good deeds.
On Monday those volunteers were recognised with a morning tea in Grafton as part of International Volunteers Day.
Clarence Valley Council community and cultural services director Jill Napier said the event was a way for people to thank those who gave selflessly of themselves.
"Across the world people were recognised for their efforts as volunteers, so we felt it was very important for the new council to show how much it appreciates and needs the support of volunteers in this community," she said.
"We had over 60 people there from a whole range of organisations and we were able to read out messages from the Premier, the Prime Minister and Governor-General congratu- lating people on their efforts."
Valley Volunteers manager Dulcie Reeves said volunteers from associations ranging from emergency services personnel to Meals on Wheels were represented.
"Throughout the Clarence Valley there are people who lend a hand because they believe in a cause or have a desire to share their time with others," she said.
"This was a chance for organisations to say thank you to their volunteers and to show them that they really do appreciate them."
In a speech to the those gathered at the function, Mrs Reeves said volunteers gained many rewards for their efforts.
"Truly, volunteers do work for free but not for nothing," she said.
Mrs Napier said volunteers from the Lower River communities would also be catered for, with a morning tea due to be held in Yamba tomorrow at the Treelands Drive Community Centre from 3pm.
Mrs Napier said the afternoon tea would also provide the council with an opportunity to officially launch a new service which recently received government funding.
"It's called a social support service which will have volunteers who assist the elderly and people with a disability and their carers to maintain their independence and continue living in the community," she said.
"They'll be doing things like visiting them or taking them out or helping them with shopping or even just sitting and talking to them."