The hallways and foyers of dozens of Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) facilities are lonely, with all facilities closed now for almost six weeks. However, behind closed doors, our staff have been busy working to re-open facilities, and welcome back not only our patrons, but our much-loved volunteers.
Across DRC, there are more than 100 volunteers who generously spend their spare time volunteering at the Western Plains Cultural Centre (WPCC), outdoor spaces, the library, and the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre (DRTCC) to name a few.
Mayor of the Dubbo Region, Councillor Ben Shields, says the volunteers across the organisation are missed, and they embody the Changing Communities, Changing Lives theme for this year’s National Volunteer Week, which runs 18 – 22 May.
“They willingly give up their time to help make patrons feel welcome, safe, informed and everything else to ensure each patron enjoys their time and experience at our facilities,” Councillor Shields said.
Whether it’s summer, winter, autumn or spring, our volunteers bring their smiles and commitment to a role that can test their mettle. That’s why the Mayor, follow councilors, and DRC staff are getting behind this year’s Wave Your Appreciation for Volunteersinitiative, and wants the community to do the same.
“We obviously can’t thank our volunteers in person this year, but we can show them they’re appreciated with putting a smiley face on your hand and waving. Upload it to social media and use the hashtag #waveforvolunteers to have our incredible volunteers recognised on a national platform,” he said.
As we look toward adopting a COVIDsafe plan when it is time to re-open DRC facilities, in likelihood additional volunteers will be on deck, hands washed, sanitized and ready to help staff implement recommended precautionary health measures. This will ensure the safety of themselves and patrons keen to return – within a safe social distance range of course!
“It is important to mention that Council volunteers often wear different volunteer hats. I am aware many of them also help out at the Blood Bank, the Dubbo Eisteddfod and Meals on Wheels. They are great ambassadors for our region and need to be applauded for the work they do,” he said.
We look forward to your return, happy National Volunteer Week to all our volunteers!