Funding uncertainty puts volunteers in jeopardy

Lismore Volunteer Referral Centres Jeannette Tyler with long-time volunteer Patricia Kennewell.

Next week is National Volunteer Week, but the Lismore Volunteer Referral Centre might not have a lot to celebrate if its forced to close down due to a lack of funding.

Jeannette Tyler from the Volunteer Referral Centre said shes unable to confirm funding for the next financial year, and shes worried the centres future is in jeopardy.

The country would come to a stop if we didnt have volunteers, Jeannette said. This is the only volunteer centre between Tweed and Grafton and without this service there will be a lot more pressure on not-for-profit organisations to find their own volunteers.

Jeanette has already received a stack of letters from community groups such as the PCYC, Lismore Toy Library, Vision Australia, The Aunty Program and the Nimbin Neighbourhood Information Centre, all expressing concern about the possible closure.

Patricia Kennewell, who has been volunteering for 25 years, was trained through the Lismore Volunteer Referral Centre and believes it would spell disaster if the centre closed down.

We are doing a lot of good for a lot of people. It would be an absolute tragedy, said Patricia, who is one of many volunteers waiting anxiously to hear about the funding. When you volunteer you give your time, energy and effort to what you are doing in the hope that you are making a difference.

To support the vital role volunteering plays in the community, or to find out more about becoming a volunteer yourself, check out the information stall on the ground floor of Lismore Library throughout National Volunteer Week (May 15-21). Or you can phone the Volunteer Referral Centre on 6621 7397.


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