School canteens 'endangered'

PEOPLE prepared to work in school canteens are in short supply in the Clarence Valley, according to a volunteer referral organisation.

The assistant co-ordinator of Volunteering Clarence Valley, Anna Hill, said many schools in the Clarence Valley were unable to find enough volunteers to staff their tuckshops.

“I know of one school (canteen) that will have to shut down a couple of days a week unless they can find volunteers,” Ms Hill said.

“There was something on one of those morning shows a couple of weeks ago talking about how some schools’ (canteens) are having to close down because they are having to rely on the P&C and parents. Because most families these days are working they’re not getting the people in.”

Ms Hill said working in school canteens was not a popular choice for people considering volunteer work.

She said many were looking to build up skills to get them into the workforce and chose areas such as aged care, child care or community service.

“There are a lot of over-55s and retirees whose aim is to be involved in the community and to give back, but I think that they have a set idea in their mind already about what they want to do, like doing Landcare, helping in the garden or volunteering with the elderly,” Ms Hill said.

“Children seem to be a bit daunting or scary for them.”

Ms Hill said most schools in the Valley needed more volunteers, but there were a number who were in urgent need of canteen helpers (see below).

She said anyone wanting to help out could either contact her at Volunteering Clarence Valley on 6642 6979 or contact the schools directly.

Volunteering Clarence Valley acts as a referral service for people wishing to do volunteer work. The organisation advertises its services in the press and online. It also receives referrals for volunteer workers from employment agencies.

Urgent list

Tucabia Public School

St Joseph’s, South Grafton

St James’ Catholic School, Yamba

South Grafton High School

Ulmarra Public

South Grafton Primary

Maclean High School

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