Vinnies volunteers are helping change countless lives

National Volunteer Week is 17-23 May 2021

17 May 2021

Vinnies Members and volunteers throughout NSW are helping improve the lives of thousands of people in need.

National Volunteer Week is an ideal time to recognise their contributions.

St Vincent de Paul Society NSW President, Peter McNamara, has thanked the many Members and volunteers who help Vinnies undertake its vital work. 

They include:

  • 3783 conference Members who volunteer in their local areas
  • 6417 volunteers who staff Vinnies’ 227 shops statewide
  • 1717 Vinnies night patrol volunteers
  • 264 volunteers at Matthew Talbot hostels
  • 762 other volunteers in various roles

“This year’s National Volunteer Week theme of ‘Recognise, Reconnect and Reimagine’ is tailored to the times in which we’ve been living. 

“Coronavirus precautions forced us to restrict our activities.

“This limited the number of Members and volunteers who could volunteer.

“At the same time we faced increased demands on those at the frontline in our refuges, nighttime food vans and regional drop-in centres for people experiencing homelessness.

“Yet the restrictions were managed in good spirits and the number of returning volunteers has been tremendous.

“Our volunteers are dedicated to serving people struggling to survive day to day.

“Despite the challenges faced, they really enjoy the company of their colleagues,” Mr McNamara said.

Around 3.6 million Australians volunteer their time to help charities, sporting clubs, visit the sick and elderly, and much more.
Vinnies is the nation’s largest volunteer organisation.

“Every Vinnies Member and volunteer makes a real difference for people struggling to pay rent, put food on the table, manage utility bills, and provide for their children.

“Our shop volunteers span generations, from those in their twenties to our veterans in their nineties.

“They work front-of-house, managing the tills and shop displays.

“Out the back, they sort donations to ensure that everything on sale is in good condition.

“The fact that they volunteer saves millions of dollars that we can use to help support people in need.

 “The heart of St Vincent de Paul are our conference Members.

“Our Members meet and volunteer in communities in local Catholic parishes all over New South Wales.

“Their mission is to live the message of Jesus by serving Christ in our communities with love, respect, justice, hope, and joy. 

“We are particularly grateful for our conference Members who conduct interviews with people facing financial difficulties – who can’t pay for food,  rent, gas, electricity and other costs.

“After going through their needs, our Members then set to work giving them a hand up so they can get back on track and live a dignified life.

“Many of those we assist are parents with young children. 

“Our Members come face to face with families and individuals in real need, and they often hear harrowing stories.

“It takes dedication and resilience to volunteer for this work.

“We are truly grateful to them – without the radical example and dedication of our Members and volunteers, we would be living in a very different world,” Mr McNamara said.

Media contact: Lachlan Jones 0417 446 430