For volunteer Stan Cue, helping out in the community has always been an important part of his life.
"I was a football umpire and then a goal umpire," he said. "I was a curator at the QEO. I also managed Bendigo Taxis for about 8 years. I have been involved with the local community for a long time."
Since retiring, the 80-year-old has been volunteering at the Bendigo Joss House Temple where he runs tours as well as doing some administration and retail work. He also spends one day a week with the Bendigo Historical Society.
Mr Cue's story is very similar to many people in Bendigo. A report from the City of Greater Bendigo found while about a quarter of Greater Bendigo residents volunteer, the most active volunteers are those aged between 65 and 74.
"There are definitely more older people," Bendigo Volunteer Resource Centre coordinator Meredith Dixon said. "You have the 65s and over because they have retired so they do have more time.
"But I think those in the 30-50 age bracket are volunteering. It's just not a recognised format of volunteering. You'll have them at sport every weekend but they say they're just helping out, so they're not getting the recognition for it."
For many organisations in Greater Bendigo, there has been a concerted push towards getting more younger people into volunteering positions.
With youth unemployment as high as 16.2 per cent in the region, Bendigo Heritage Attractions volunteer coordinator Darcy Van Dillen said volunteering could act as a "stepping stone" towards employment.
"It does eventually lead to work whether it's in the place that they're volunteering or somewhere else," Ms Dillen said.
"It's a very good experience to show people that you're out there and you're doing something. But it is hard to get and keep younger volunteers because people need to work."
Ms Van Dillen said it can open up opportunities for many young people.
"I always volunteered in my younger years and I find that employers really look favourably on people who have done volunteer work," she said.
"So it's always something I tell younger people that if you can't get into the job market or you don't have anything on your resume, try volunteering.
"Try something that you really like, go out and meet people, and you never know where it's going to lead."
One person who is testament to that is Joseph Gould. The 26-year-old began volunteering at the Bendigo Tramways in Year 10 as part of a school program.
"It was very accommodating alongside school," Mr Gould said. "But if you enjoy something enough, you will make it work regardless and that's exactly what I did."
Mr Gould has since worked in Melbourne as a tram driver and station officer. He has returned to Bendigo and is now back at the tramways doing some casual work alongside volunteering.
"Everybody should do it I think," he said. "I was an officer in charge of one of the busiest railway stations in Melbourne and I got the job virtually from all the skills I had learned here.
"Younger people like myself should come along and milk it because you get all of these wonderful skills that you can apply to your work. It may lead to a job, you never know, and you can build a career."
Lauren Collinge, 27, has been volunteering at the PepperGreen Farm since March last year.
She originally sought out the volunteer position to meet people after moving to Bendigo. But she said the experience, which involved working in the garden, lead to permanent employment.
"It was just good to have that experience," she said. "When I first started volunteering, I was working casually as a disability support worker.
"But I am now working full time as an NDIS support coordinator. The experience I had under my belt through volunteering put me at an advantage in getting that job."
PepperGreen Farm volunteer coordinator Sharon Roylance said her volunteers not only get the opportunity to give back to the community, but also learn about horticulture and sustainability.
"Young people can get hands on experience which they can put on the resume," she said. "If they're out there trying to get a job, it's great."
While there is a push towards younger people in volunteer roles, Discovery Centre volunteer coordinator Clare Dullard said the contributions of older Australians should not be tossed aside.
"We definitely do not only look for younger people," Ms Dullard said. "We want people of all ages and abilities.
"Volunteering is about being able to provide an additional service to the community. We do accept people that have that experience."
John Wells, 74, has been volunteering at the Discovery Centre for about 12 years. His background as a chemistry lecturer and teacher has been important to his longevity in the volunteer role.
"I work in the workshop, building and repairing exhibits," he said. "I also helped on the floor in the past, explaining things to schools and groups.
"I love interacting with the people who come to the discovery centre. It's great that people - particularly kids - can come and find out things.
Mr Wells has also been a volunteer with the CFA for more than 40 years and also contributes his time to other groups like the learner driver mentor program and the Rural Australians for Refugees group.
"Volunteering has always been an important part of my life," he said. "It's become more important since retirement. But it's a great way to meet and interact with people and contribute to the community."
Mr Cue said organisations in Bendigo "welcome you with open arms" regardless of age or ability.
"They give you all the assistance you need," Mr Cue said. "It's almost a home away from home.
"You meet so many good people that appreciate the fact that by volunteers being available, they can keep these places open and they get the benefits of what Bendigo has to offer them."
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.