Volunteer numbers dwindling

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph
Some of the gardening team and volunteers from Chorus.
Camera IconSome of the gardening team and volunteers from Chorus.

A volunteer group which operates in the Rockingham area is struggling to build up numbers again, after COVID-19 forced many of their members to stop working in the community.

Chorus sends volunteers out to a range of jobs from five depots across Perth, including one in Safety Bay.

They help seniors, those living with disability or recovering from mental health issues.

Volunteers help with gardening, home maintenance, meal delivery, outings, home visits, shopping and more.

Chorus volunteer engagement coach Carla Mele said before COVID-19 restrictions had been put in place Chorus was consistently getting requests from people who wanted to volunteer.

“Last week I had no inquiries at all. Before COVID-19 I would come back to work after the weekend and people would have applied to volunteer,” she said.

“I know it is not just us. One of my colleagues was talking to someone who volunteers in an op shop and they were saying the company was possibly going to close some of their shops because they didn’t have enough volunteers.”

Ms Mele said not only was Chorus getting fewer new volunteers but the number of volunteers who were working with the company before COVID-19 had also dropped.

“With COVID-19 hitting, we had to stand down our volunteers aged over 70 for their safety and then a lot of our customers also didn’t need so much done while they were in lockdown,” she said.

“Now that we are back there are still some volunteers with health concerns who have chosen not to come back.

“We have had an influx of people who now need visiting, or to get their gardening done, but we can’t necessarily fulfil all those requests which is in turn having a negative impact on the community.”

Ms Mele urged anyone interested in helping out at Chorus to get in contact on 6271 3095, email marketing@chorus.org.au or visit chorus.org.au for more information.

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