Giving back and feeling good
THE broad campaign of National Volunteer Week has itself an ambassador close to home.
Bannockburn’s Scott Cooper has been recognised for the personal time he gives to others and community groups needing assistance day-to-day.
His love of volunteering sparked when he found an opportunity to support his karate club, lending a hand to its young learners.
Now Mr Cooper’s found a role with the Golden Plains Shire’s active ageing and disability team, supporting service delivery, like meals and community transport. He helps his church to prepare for events and delivers readings, repairs things at the Anglesea op shop, and supports disability service provider genU, relishing time in the kitchen and garden.
He enjoys the social side of volunteering, as he mixes with a variety of ages and personalities.
“It’s all about the contacts and meeting other people. I’ve made so many close friends… Too many,” Mr Cooper laughed.
“They’re all supportive and kind, and with Meals on Wheels, I help out the oldies.”
He said it’s “a big step” to be named a local face in the Volunteer Week campaign, but said it always feels good to be giving back.
“Not everyone does it, so maybe I can show people that they can so these things too. It’s good to connect in the community, and you don’t know where it will take you. Doors open.
“When I first thought about volunteering at Golden Plains Shire council, I was a little bit scared and a little bit nervous because I didn’t know much about it, and it was a totally different area that I had never volunteered in before,” he said.
“Now, it feels like home, and the Shire wants me to mentor other young volunteers when they come in which will be a big role, but it’s good.”
Volunteering Geelong, genU and Humans in Geelong joined forces to find six local ambassadors for National Volunteer Week. The Golden Plains Shire and genU put Mr Cooper’s name forward together.
Golden Plains Shire mayor, Cr Owen Sharkey was glad Mr Cooper is being recognised, having “wholeheartedly” committed himself to volunteer work at the council.
“Scott’s ‘can do’ attitude and commitment to the community has quickly made him an invaluable member of the team,” he said.
“Council was very proud to nominate Scott and see him named a national ambassador. Congratulations Scott.”