Four women who have dedicated a combined 90 years of service to the St Vincent de Paul Society in Deniliquin have been honoured this National Volunteers Week.
Half of those years belong to Margaret Atley, who has been associated with the local organisation for the last 45 years.
‘‘I have lived in Deniliquin all my life, and I started to volunteer many years ago, and just kept going,’’ Mrs Atley said.
‘‘I was Centre president previously but now I just do conference (outreach assistance) work.
‘‘I have enjoyed having contact with all the people, and helping people who are in a bit of trouble.’’
Also receiving service badges this week are Alma Bergin (20 years), Kate Cathcart (15 years) and Jane Horan (10 years).
‘‘I’ve been here 20 years after I found some more time on my hands,’’ Mrs Bergin said.
‘‘I had always said I would come to Vinnies to volunteer when I was still on the farm. I work as a volunteer and in the conference,’’ she said.
‘‘I just like helping people,’’ Mrs Cathcart added.
‘‘I also enjoy coming along each week and doing whatever is needed as a volunteer,’’ she continued.
National Volunteer Week is the annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers. It started yesterday and runs through until May 26.
The theme this year is ‘Making a world of difference’, and the St Vincent de Paul Society’s Wilcannia Forbes Central Council says it is proud to acknowledge the invaluable contribution its wonderful volunteers make in the delivery of services to their respective communities.
The Deniliquin Vinnies Centre has a very friendly, social environment and the work provides a special sense of satisfaction you get from helping others and learning new skills.
Various tasks include sorting donated goods, serving at the counter, clerical, basic computer, interviewing and listening to people in need. With busy lives it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you and your community.
More helpers are needed at the Deniliquin Centre in Napier St, and for its conference arm. Men and women of all ages and denominations are welcome and encouraged to assist; even a couple of hours a week would be a great help.
If you think you can help ‘make a world of difference’, call in at the Vinnies Centre or phone 58812735 to find out more.
■Keep an eye out in our Friday edition for a special feature on Deniliquin Meals on Wheels and its invaluable volunteers.