Bendigo Volunteer Resource Centre marks 10-year milestone

THE Bendigo Volunteer Resource Centre yesterday celebrated 10 years of helping the community. 

The centre helps to organise almost 20,000 volunteers in the Greater Bendigo region and assists people back into the workplace. 

Chairman Paul Kirkpatrick said the centre was trying to develop resources so different volunteer organisations in the Bendigo region could develop themselves. 

“We help people connect back with the community, which is a rewarding aspect of the job,” he said. 

Mr Kirkpatrick said the moments he cherished in his five years at the centre were during community responses to recent natural disasters. 

“The bushfires and floods had an overwhelming reaction from the community,” he said.

The centre organised volunteers and redirected resources from businesses in Canberra, Melbourne and Geelong for both emergencies. 

Manager Helen Yorston – honoured for her 10 years of service yesterday – said some volunteers had had life-changing experiences.

“We help people from all walks of life. We have helped people into part-time and full-time work and when they come back and tell you their story, it makes it worthwhile,” she said. 

Bendigo mayor Lisa Ruffell said volunteers were an asset to the city. 

“The centre has become the cornerstone of volunteer organisation in the region,” she said. 

Volunteer organisations in the Bendigo region have received a timely financial boost through the Labor government’s volunteer grants for 2012. 

Of the $16 million invested in nationwide volunteer groups, 13 organisations in Bendigo will each receive between $1000 and $5000.

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