Heading Community Garden Coordinator and Hopecare Cafe, Hopecare Bathurst

How long have you been volunteering?

“24 months.”

What difference do you think volunteers make to the Community?

“I think no matter what your age volunteering is a way you can give something back to the community. There’s always someone who is in need and helping people reach up is really rewarding. I get to work with a great group of people – some younger, some older and many in-between. This is a friendly volunteer organization, and I can put my love of gardening and working with people to good use. It’s great to see the impact of our garden in helping to provide our community meals.”

Comments from Hopecare

“Marita is fantastic! She is passionate about people and she does an amazing job managing our Community Garden. The garden grows fresh vegetables which are used to provide meals for our community. The meals provide a nutritious and substantial lunch and also an opportunity to socialize with other community members – no one needs to be lonely. Our Hopecare Care lunches are looked forward to by everyone who attends.”

Key learning for Volunteer Managers

When you find a role that volunteers are passionate about, things are a lot easier. Matita loves gardening and she is a great leader – some people love to lead, and some prefer to follow instructions instead. Communicate regularly with your volunteers so they can contribute in the ways they prefer. Sometimes a new role can be created to match the skills, experience and commitment from potential new volunteers and existing volunteers. This is a great way to retain your volunteers.