This week is National Volunteer Week, a week for recognising and appreciating those that contribute to the community.
Each year we hold a 'thank you' event for our volunteers, where awards are presented in a show of appreciation for outstanding service.
Headlining the years of service awards for 2021 were Pat Munden for her role as kitchen matriarch at Cooinda for 35 years. Not only is she preparing meals every day, but she also welcomes every volunteer into the centre's family and shows them the ropes.
We also acknowledged Alice and Lance Goodgame for 25 years of running dancing classes at Cooinda. Alice and Lance retired from volunteering last year, and their classes are not only missed but still talked about excitedly by many customers. On top of this were a number of 10-year awards and it is heartwarming to see that despite the changing shape of volunteering, we have so many willing to commit tirelessly to roles that deliver so much to the community.
We also awarded our inaugural Volunteer STAR of the Year awards. We had three nominations that were deserving of the award. The first went to Glandore's Walk Around Australia and volunteers Helen Franklin, Gary Lloyd and Mary Smith. They planned and delivered a virtual walking challenge to help people stay fit in a safe way. It started in Adelaide and they have now walked through 200 towns.
The second award went to Jaleh Shahedi, who has been integral to the success of Cooinda's Multicultural Seniors Group, focusing on the Iranian population. Jaleh has helped to engage local residents, making them feel connected and welcome to the community.
The third award went to a team of volunteers delivering a service that is often unseen, but always needed and warmly received. The Positive Ageing and Inclusion Social Support volunteers gave their time throughout COVID affected in 2020 to meet the needs of our community's most in need and isolated. Be it through regular social calls, creating activity packs or meal deliveries.
Ornella, Castro, Lynne Cleveland, Edward Ferguson, Elizabeth Fisher, Raelene Gale, Annie Irwin, Joan Nelson, Christine Pierson, Su Przesniak, Marilyn Ras, Peter Scheer and Theresa Francis comprised the team and also won the 2021 Premier's Certificate for Outstanding Volunteer Service.
We had a second winner of the Premier's Certificate for Chris Schwarz, who has always put on a ho ho ho and big smile whilst being Santa at Glandore's annual Christmas event.
Finally, thank you to our volunteer managers for helping place our volunteers in a place where they can excel.