Many would agree volunteers are the backbone of the Far South Coast.
From Meals on Wheels, to charity and op shops, the Country Women's Association, Surf Life Saving, the Rural Fire Service, Landcare, community pantries, and the Men's Sheds - the list goes on!
Without volunteers many of these vital services would cease to exist.
Bega Valley Shire Council has celebrated its amazing base of volunteers by holding a morning of coffee and pancakes for National Volunteer Week in Littleton Gardens on May 18.
"National Volunteer Week recognises and celebrates the vital work of our volunteers," said Bega Valley Shire Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick.
The Bega Valley has a higher-than-average rate of volunteering than other NSW regional area and has more than 300 volunteer organisations committed to the wellbeing of the community.
According to the 2016 Census, a quarter (25.8%) of the region's population contribute to their communities through volunteerism.
"People volunteer for lots of reasons, whether it's to be helpful, meet people or to learn something new. It's an enjoyable, hands-on way to be involved, and from our perspective, we couldn't offer the services we do without help of our volunteers," Cr Fitzpatrick said.
Some of the volunteers who came out to celebrate with the council included volunteers from the Montreal Goldfield in Bermagui who spend their time maintaining and guiding people through this historic community site and important tourist attraction.
Founding committee member Judi Hearn said the goldfields and heritage centre were only able to stay open for tours throughout the year thanks to their incredible base of volunteers.
A large number of councillors and council staff members also dedicate their time to volunteering.
BVSC community development and engagement officer Angelique McKechnie was one such example, who in addition to her position also sits on the management committee of the South East Women And Children Services (SEWACS).
She said without a management committee SEWACS would not be able to continue its great work in the community supporting women and children. She has found time outside of her full-time role to contribute to the a cause she deemed vital for the community.
Her volunteer role included participating in monthly management meetings, signing-off on funding documents, reading the minutes and agenda prior to meetings, as well as attending fundraising events.
Cr Fitzpatrick also acknowledged many council services could not run without the tireless work of its large base of committed volunteers.
"Council alone has almost 400 volunteers managing or maintaining our halls and cemeteries, sports grounds, museums and galleries, the environment and the historic Montreal Goldfields," he said.
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