SOME of Griffith’s oldest community groups are in jeopardy of folding if volunteers are not urgently found, organisation heads have claimed.
In recent weeks a host of organisations have put out desperate calls for more locals to join them, with disappointing results.
The Australian Red Cross will celebrate 100 years of providing crisis support next year, but the local branch isn’t sure they will survive to see the milestone.
Griffith branch president Lena Suman, who also donates her time as a Hands On volunteer at Bupa, said that volunteers were an integral part of the organisation.
“We can’t get volunteers. I go and do nails at the retirement home and there is no one else with me,” she said.
“Nobody has the time. More women are working and if they’ve got kids they are so involved in sports and other activities they can’t spare the time.
“The sad thing is that everybody is in the same boat. I was asked to join and then became the president six years ago. If I didn’t take on the job we would have had to close down. We haven’t held our luncheon for three years due to the lack of support. It will be 100 years of Red Cross next year and we’d like to have a celebration.”
Among the long list of Griffith organisations relying on volunteers to operate is Meals on Wheels (MoW).
MoW coordinator Tennille Valensisi said without the close to 200 names currently listed on their roster, there would be no service.
“We simply couldn’t do it without them,” Mrs Valensisi said.
“The problem is that a lot of our volunteers are elderly themselves.
“It usually takes an hour of their day and we work our rosters around them. This is not just about delivering meals. For our clients it’s a chance to see a face every day, which is peace of mind for their families.”
With council regularly reviewing the performance of its facilities, Pioneer Park Museum manager Javier Terrazas said their volunteer base was more important than ever.
“The more volunteers we’ve got the less work each one has to do,” he said.
“It’s a fact that there are community facilities that will be lost if we don’t have volunteers and its future generations that will suffer. In the end our kids will miss out.
“We’ve got volunteers that only come up half a day once a month, others come two or three days a week. It’s really up to them how much time they devote.
“We have action day and school’s day once a year and without our volunteers to show how the old machinery works we couldn’t do it. It could be someone who can show how to do Morse code or what a blacksmith does. Any area of expertise they want to share with the community one day a year makes a huge difference.”