VOLUNTEER organisations in the Macleay, Nambucca and Bellinger valleys have received a timely cash boost from the Commonwealth.
This week marks National Volunteer Week and 16 local community groups will benefit from a share in $9 million of federal funding to support local volunteers across Australia.
Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said volunteers keep many of our favourite community places and services going and they deserve our thanks and recognition this week.
"Volunteers are vital to our community and they have a hand in the running of so many of the things we love about our area," he said.
"The grants awarded are between $1000 and $5000 and will enable local organisations to better support their volunteers through purchasing small equipment, paying for the volunteer's fuel and transport costs and providing training.
"This National Volunteer Week I would like to thank the thousands of volunteers across the electorate of Cowper: your actions support residents and families and make our community a better place."
The successful recipients of grants totalling $61,900 in Cowper are:
- Boambee East Community Centre
- Coffs Regional Community Gardens
- Home-Start National, Kempsey
- Lions Club of Bowraville
- Macksville-Scotts Head Surf Life Saving Club
- Northern NSW Helicopter Rescue Service
- Northside Progress Association, Port Macquarie
- Omnicare Alliance, Port Macquarie
- Port Macquarie Astronomical Association
- Port Macquarie Museum
- Riding for the Disabled Association Coffs Harbour and District Centre
- Rotary Club of Dorrigo
- Rotary Club of Kempsey West
- Rotary Club of Macksville
- Sawtell Surf Live Saving Club
- The Salvation Army, Coffs Harbour
Boambee East Community Centre Manager Sue Butler said the grant of $4,000 would enable the centre to provide some much-wanted training for volunteers.
"I've managed the centre for 16 years and I totally rely on the 25 volunteers who support the centre day to day," she said.
"Over the time I have been at the centre, it has grown from a small neighbourhood centre to a substantial, community hub, where people access services such as health and support programs, children and seniors' activities and attend key events like the Winter Solstice Family Fun Day.
"All these activities are planned, supported and run by volunteers. So this funding is greatly appreciated as it will enable me to provide them with some sought after training.
"Many of our front office volunteers and program support volunteer staff work closely with vulnerable people, so they feel training in this area would benefit them greatly and enable them to better assist people who visit the centre."
National Volunteer Week runs until this Sunday 24 May and the theme this year is "Changing communities. Changing Lives".