Trudy, a volunteer with our English Language Support program, says volunteering is a source of connection and “lasting relationship”.

To mark the start of National Volunteer Week (8–14 May 2017), Jesuit Social Services CEO, Julie Edwards, has sent a message to the 260+ volunteers who help us build a just society.

“This week we celebrate the contribution of volunteers across Australia during National Volunteer Week. More specifically, I would like to acknowledge the contribution and commitment of you, our valued Jesuit Social Services volunteers.

“This is the 40th year of Jesuit Social Services and over the past four decades the organisation has grown and evolved. Our 40th anniversary is an exciting milestone and gives us an opportunity to reflect on our work with people who are most marginalised in our community.

“We have been fortunate in being supported by a number of volunteers over the years and each volunteer has supported us in achieving our vision of building a just society. Building communities of justice is a key strategic priority and part of this priority is to invite community into the organisation. Volunteering is one of those ways we in which, together, we work to build a just society.

“Our volunteers support us in our work in all manner of roles, from administration through to mentoring. All roles are equally valuable not only to staff, but to our participants, who benefit from everyone’s collective efforts.

“I appreciate all that you do and hope your work with us provides opportunity for you to live out your values. Thank you for your help, commitment and support.”

Julie’s message highlights the important contribution that volunteers make to Jesuit Social Services’ programs and participants.

According to Trudy, a volunteer with our English Language Support Program in Sunshine, volunteers also gain from the relationship.

“I simply love my Monday mornings at the Sunshine English class for asylum seekers! It is unlike any other voluntary work I have done before. The environment is incredibly positive due to the intimate classroom setting and I really feel like I make a difference. Over the past two years, I have made lasting relationships with individuals. I feel privileged to work with such courageous people who have such a positive outlook on life despite their difficult circumstances.

“Volunteering grounds me and has given me great perspective on life. Volunteering has made me a better person.

“Through my work as a volunteer I have seen the positive impact it has had on my immediate family, friends and local community. It has allowed me to humanise, educate and depoliticise the issue. I believe volunteers fill a very important gap in society. They have the capacity to act as the link between the marginalised in our society and the wider community.”