- Tuesday 05 January 2016
Community Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said the recently endorsed Sunshine Coast Social Strategy 2015 highlighted the importance of ensuring people and places were connected.
“Council’s libraries are a great place to start as they are thriving community hubs which welcome people of all ages through their doors each and every day,” Cr McKay said.
“The benefits of volunteering are significant and include improving your health and wellbeing, meeting new friends, helping others and being part of something that makes a positive contribution to where you live.
“It’s because of these benefits that the Social Strategy and council have committed to a target of increasing volunteering participation across our community.
“Through our Social Strategy, council aims to improve the capacity of volunteers and volunteer organisations and provide ongoing opportunities for people to undertake volunteering activities.
“Currently one in five of our population contribute to volunteering however our aim is to do even better and increase this to one in four.
“It is encouraging to know that as a volunteer your contribution will support your own wellbeing and connection, as well as make a difference in your community.”
Glass House Mountains resident Hazel McConnell said prior to moving to Australia in 2008 she had been involved with a similar program in New Zealand.
“I have been a friend of the Beerwah Library for three years, now assisting with the readers group and delivering books to people who are not able to visit the library themselves,” she said.
“I feel that the readers group makes quite a difference to seniors with dementia as sometimes when reading to them you spark a memory and it gives me a real buzz.
“I have one gentleman who cannot speak but when reading a funny story he smiles and his facial expressions tell it all. I get just as much pleasure reading to my oldies as they get out of it.
“There is also another lady I deliver books to who turns 99 in a couple of weeks and is still an avid reader.”
Hazel said she would definitely recommend volunteering as a friend of the library as there are many different areas people can get involved in.
“I volunteer for roughly 2.5 hours per week plus extra if I get involved in fundraising events,” she said.
If you would like to volunteer at your local library phone 5475 8989 or visit council’s library website to register your interest.