Celebrating International Volunteer Day 2023
International Volunteer Day, celebrated on 5 December, is an opportunity to thank and acknowledge the contributions of volunteers worldwide.
When it comes to volunteers, WA has a lot to be thankful for. Last financial year, about 4500 volunteers dedicated more than 230,000 hours to serving the WA community.
Volunteers support the Western Australian community through first aid education and awareness, event health services, health emergencies, natural disasters and medical transport.
Power couple keep teens safe at Leavers
In November 2023, volunteers were part of a multi-agency effort to keep 8
,000 young people safe at the annual Leavers event in Dunsborough.
Denise, who has been a St John WA volunteer for four years, was inspired to sign up after seeing the work of volunteers at a previous Leavers event.
“I got into volunteering actually from Leavers, I had to pick up some friends’ teenage children.
“I saw the great work that everyone did and I thought I want to be part of that.”
She volunteers alongside Sean, her husband of 25 years.
As well as providing medical support at events and attending emergency calls, volunteers help provide STWA’s Community Transport Service (CTS). The service ensures people who cannot use mainstream public transport systems get to get their hospital and specialist appointments.
In May 2023, not-for-profit private health insurance provider HIF and St John Giving, the charitable arm of St John WA, launched a dedicated CTS in Northam.
The CTS services up to 40 jobs a month and is staffed by volunteers, including Chuck Franz who signed up for volunteering four years ago.
Chuck encourages others to join as CTS volunteers.
“When you realize how much it means to the clients, and really understand their point of view of what we are doing for them, you will be touched,” he said.
“If you want to impact another person’s life, give a bit of your time and help those who need it because one day you are going to need it.”
Volunteering at St John
Volunteers get access to a range of benefits, including free ambulance coverage and discounts on First Aid training.
St John has launched a Volunteer Advocacy Team (VAT). The team of twelve passionate volunteers will provide volunteers from across St John with a clear pathway to be represented and have input into the future of the organisation. The new VAT will meet for the first time in 2024.
Find out more about volunteering here.