Vol­un­teer hub to be a valu­able link

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

The Pil­bara’s first vol­un­teer hub is set to open next month.

Sup­port body Vol­un­teer­ing WA is start­ing the cen­tre in a bid to link Pil­bara res­i­dents in­ter­ested in vol­un­teer­ing with lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions that need their ser­vices.

The hub will be based in Kar­ratha but will also fo­cus on Roe­bourne, Newman, the East Pil­bara, Port Hed­land and South Hed­land.

Vol­un­teer ser­vice man­ager Lorena Castelo said Vol­un­teer­ing WA had iden­ti­fied the Pil­bara as a re­gion where rates of dis­ad­van­tage were high and vol­un­teer num­bers were low com­pared to the State av­er­age.

She said the planned hub had been wel­comed by lo­cal com­pa­nies she had spo­ken to.

“A lot of peo­ple are very ex­cited to hear the hub is open­ing and the ser­vices are go­ing to be pro­vided,” she said.

“I’ve heard the fund­ing is get­ting a bit tighter, so there’s not as much time and not as many re­sources (for or­gan­i­sa­tions) to be able to ac­com­plish ev­ery­thing that they would like to do.

“And so what we’d like to en­cour­age or­gan­i­sa­tions to do is see if they can find a vol­un­teer to pro­vide them with some sup­port.”

Hub staff will pro­vide re­sources to any­one in­ter­ested in vol­un­teer­ing or ac­cess­ing ser­vices as well as any or­gan­i­sa­tions that use vol­un­teers, in­clud­ing char­i­ties, com­mu­nity groups, sports and re­cre­ational clubs and gov­ern­ment agen­cies.

Mrs Castelo said the hub’s ser­vices would help to ad­dress key Pil­bara so­cial is­sues such as men­tal health and make lo­cal vol­un­teer­ing eas­ier to ac­cess and run.

“We hope de­liv­ery through the hub will en­gage more peo­ple in vol­un­teer­ing and to thereby build the ca­pac­ity of lo­cal com­mu­nity groups to achieve what they want to achieve,” she said.

Pil­bara Act-Be­long-Com­mit health pro­mo­tion co-or­di­na­tor Gemma Brooks said the hub would pro­vide valu­able sup­port for their work.

“Men­tally Healthy WA looks for­ward to work­ing closely with the Pil­bara Vol­un­teer Hub to pro­mote the men­tal health ben­e­fits of vol­un­teer­ing and build com­mu­nity ca­pac­ity,” she said.

“We are ex­cited to have an or­gan­i­sa­tion to pro­mote as a on­estop-shop for in­di­vid­u­als seek­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to vol­un­teer in the Pil­bara.”

Vol­un­teer­ing WA is re­cruit­ing a co-or­di­na­tor for the Pil­bara hub and will be open for con­sul­ta­tions with or­gan­i­sa­tions in April.

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