Groupwork Centre Blog

Valuing Volunteers, with cake and…

This is Volunteer Week across Australia, when many organisations and groups go out of their way to celebrate and show appreciation to their volunteers. I really like this year’s theme “Better Together”, how Groupwork Centre friendly is that!

I am, and probably you are too, part of the roughly quarter of Australians aged 15 and over who regularly volunteer in some way or other in organisations or groups. That’s a lot of people and we all deserve to be valued like the treasures we are for our great role in making organisations and groups work well.

Often appreciation is shown in the form of gatherings and food, usually fun and enjoyed.  There’s definitely the intrinsic satisfaction of knowing when we’ve contributed to something bigger, something important, and we’ve done a good job.  All the same, cake is great.

Also great is demonstrating in the day to day how much we’re welcome, and how our time and effort is valued.  Here are a few possible ways to show just that, let’s know about your ideas:

  • a good orientation on the values and vision of the organisation or group and where we fit into the bigger picture
  • having clear information about what we are being asked to do no matter how simple or small
  • inviting and welcoming our new ideas on how our role might be done or on how we see things operating
  • receiving specific and individual feedback on what we’re seen to be doing well
  • being provided with the appropriate equipment or work environment for us to do our tasks properly


Many of these things are a given for paid workers, why not for people who donate so much of their own resources, care and effort?

We try to make this point in our supervision training, surprising how often this is a new and eye-opening proposition.

Here’s to us all working ‘better together’ for the places, groups, causes and campaigns we care about.

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