Volunteer Day is a great time to say thank you, Playgroup Australia says
To mark International Volunteer Day on 5 December, Playgroup Australia has paid tribute to the thousands of volunteers “who work tirelessly to ensure that their local playgroup is a place of welcome and play for families with children aged under five”.
The work of such volunteers is integral to the ongoing success of both Playgroup Australia and the state and territory playgroup organisations, Playgroup Australia CEO Fiona May said, acknowledging that that without volunteers, community playgroups “would not be creating villages through play across Australia”.
In 2019, International Volunteer Day encourages people around the world to “volunteer for an inclusive future,” highlighting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the pursuit of equality – including inclusion – through volunteerism.
Through volunteerism, communities around the world are offered experiences which strengthen solidarity and inclusion, and likewise, the opportunity to volunteer in support of others provides opportunities for all people, particularly those who may otherwise be excluded, to impact their own lives and play a constructive role in their communities by volunteering their time and skills.
Playgroup Australia is one of the largest volunteer movements in Australia, with over 8,000 volunteers nationally, with volunteers for the group playing “an important role in bringing people together and breaking down social isolation for families with young children,” Ms May said.
“Their commitment to creating a village through play makes community playgroups possible. We know that many thousands of families nationally value the support, connection and play which they access each week at playgroup,” she added.
Marrying with this year’s theme, Ms May noted the variety of playgroups on offer around the country which celebrate and support all kinds of families including first-time parents/caregivers, dads, family day care, grandparents and intergenerational inclusion, rainbow families, cultural and language diversity (CALD), and families impacted by disability and behavioural concerns.
Connecting with others on a similar parenting journey is one of the key reasons that families join playgroups, and it also motivates our volunteer playgroup leaders to do the work they do, she added.
Investment of volunteer time was a key factor identified in a recent cost benefit analysis of community playgroup which found that for each dollar invested in community playgroup a return of $3.60 is provided to the community.
The skill development and experience attained by volunteering can also make a difference to future employment opportunities and this too, contributed to the strong positive return in the recent analysis.
To learn more about Playgroup Australia and the volunteering options available, please see here.