Anyone who’s retired at a relatively young age will tell you that they didn’t realise how much of their identity was due to their work and their work community.
Retirement, transition to retirement or perhaps when you’re cutting back on working hours: these are all good opportunities to find a new community through volunteer work.
Where can you volunteer in Sutherland Shire?
Luckily for you, our region is extremely community-minded and therefore offers loads of activities. While all opportunities won’t be available all the time, you can visit two great volunteering websites, GoVolunteer and the NSW Volunteering government website to see what’s available when you’re ready.
The Sutherland Shire council animal shelter is always looking for help with general pet care, grooming, socialising and attending fairs and events so pets can be adopted.
Call or email Animal Shelter on 9410 0401 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Our wonderful Gymea Community Aid and Information Services Inc. connects people with pets and volunteers who can help older residents who might not be mobile to care for a beloved companion animal. You might need to help with hygiene, or take a dog for a walk. Check out more here or contact them on (02) 9524 9559.
If you’re lucky enough to have a pet of your own, you can volunteer to visit hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities to put a smile on someone’s dial.
Nature conservation and outdoors
Towra Point Nature Reserve
This key wetlands site was in danger of complete erosion and loss of habitat for large numbers of bird, animal and plant species. In 1997, a group got together and formed The Friends of Towra Point volunteer group. The group works at bush regeneration, seed collection, vegetation surveys and habitat creation and preservation. If this sounds like something you’d like to do, call 02 9668 2000.
Suburb by suburb bushcare volunteers
Sutherland Shire council helps to coordinate bushcare volunteers. Each suburb focuses on its own precious piece of bushland. In Caringbah, groups tend Beauford Park, Fernleigh Road Reserve and Kareena Park.
You can find more information on the council website under Volunteering.
With more of our elderly ageing in place, we need helpers to maintain the gardens and outdoors in general. The opening in Caringbah via the NSW Volunteering website is weeding and pruning only; no lawn mowing.
This is the easiest category; you’ll find loads of volunteering ‘jobs’, from Meals on Wheels to home visits to the elderly to spending a few hours each week working in a Vinnies store.
One job that’s particularly useful for the elderly is that of shopping assistant. Depending on the service you connect with, this could mean helping an elderly person write their shopping list then taking them to the shopping centre or it could be that you pick up the shopping list and the money, purchase what’s on the list and deliver it back to your client.
Working with children
The Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation works with children who live in families affected by mental illness. The Foundation runs regular weekend camps throughout NSW and they’re always on the lookout for camp leaders who like kids and know how to have fun.
Helping out in your community
Of course, you don’t need to sign up to an organisation to make yourself useful. You might have neighbours who could use a hand and some company or you have your own piece of bush that you can restore.
Can we help with advice on downsizing?
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