Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC) would like to recognise and celebrate the valuable contribution of volunteers during this year's National Volunteer Week, by showcasing as many photos of Volunteers In Action as possible and are inviting the community to share their images.
Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick said,"The lives of almost every person in the shire, and those of our visitors, are enriched in some way through the dedicated work of our generous volunteers.
"We'd like as many people as possible to share their Volunteers In Action photos, past and present, so we can publish them onto our National Volunteer Week webpage and Facebook gallery."
Cr Fitzpatrick said this year's theme - Recognise. Reconnect. Reimagine - really hits home when you consider what the shire has been through in the last few years.
"Recognition of the thousands of volunteers who have helped us get through the challenges of drought, bushfires, floods and COVID-19 - most of which are ongoing - is an important part of Volunteer Week," he said.
"We had volunteers come to our rescue, those who continue to help us in our recovery and those who work tirelessly to keep our daily, weekly and monthly lives moving forward, delivering essential services, comfort and care.
"Reconnecting is particularly important to our mental and physical health, especially after more than a year of isolation and stress for too many of us.
"Volunteering connects us to others in our communities, the benefits of which include improved wellbeing or a potential pathway to employment.
"When we give our time to help others or give our time to a cause we value, we also give back to ourselves.
"There are more than 300 volunteer organisations in the shire and many of these need more help. If you're interested in volunteering, visit our community directory and connect with a local volunteer organisation.
"Reimagining is an opportunity for our volunteer organisations, which are experiencing a decline in the number of hours volunteers give, to think about the future.
"Research has shown during the pandemic, two-thirds of volunteers stopped working and some organisations continue to lose one in four volunteers due to illness or caring responsibilities.
"We need to reimagine how we run our volunteer programs and better support and engage with our volunteers, so they can continue to do the important work they do," Cr Fitzpatrick said.
Get your Volunteers In Action photos on the BVSC website and Facebook page by filling out the form and attaching photos via the council National Volunteer Week webpage.
National Volunteer Week runs from Monday, May 17 to Sunday, May 23.