Addison Road Community Organisation is very happy to see our volunteers acknowledged this week at the Inner West Council’s 2021 Amy Large Volunteer Awards. The awards were conceived as one of the high points of National Volunteer Week, a time to reflect on how much communities across the country are enriched by the generosity of so many individuals and groups who give of themselves selflessly and freely all the year round.
Without our volunteers we simply could not do the work that we are doing. This is especially true at our Addi Food Pantry Marrickville and Food Pantry Camperdown, as well as the Addi Road Food Relief Hub we began operating in the wake of Covid-19 last March, supporting 120 charities and social justice groups who were under enormous strain and doing their best to help people in need. Not to mention our volunteers’ presence behind all the projects and events we manage to create each year, from social justice activities to arts and culture evenings and more.
In the last year this spirit of engagement has grown exponentially at Addi Road, with over 200 volunteers donating 6,000 plus hours to meet the needs of their community. Whenever we ask for help, our volunteers are there, making it happen – and making the experience all the happier and more positive for everyone involved.
Our partnership with Craig Foster and his #PlayForLives campaign turbo-charged the number of volunteers we had supporting us over the past year, encouraging everyone from leading sports people to local sports clubs to help us in our work.
As the name indicates, the IWC’s Amy Large Volunteer Awards takes its cues from Amy Large, a legendary community figure who gave her time and energy as a volunteer over and again across the Inner West. It’s a terrific honour to see Addison Road Community Organisation Volunteers recognised as a group – and in her name – with these awards. And to be in the company of so many other brilliant organisations like the Asylum Seekers Centre, The Reverend Bill Crews Foundation, Gunawirra and Dress for Success Sydney. It’s the kind of night where everyone involved really is a winner – and mutually supportive.
Along with the group recognition, three of our volunteers were also recognised individually; in the ‘Young Volunteer of the Year’ category, Joseph Hathaway-Wilson for his work in the Food Pantry, restocking shelf items, bagging fruit and bread, and assisting the public who come here shopping. Thank you Joseph for being such an important and inspiring part of our team. Your presence here raises us up each time you arrive.
In the ‘Adult Volunteer of the Year’ category, Mary Savva was acknowledged “for going above and beyond”. Mary works at reception here at Addi Road, as well as training new volunteers and supporting our Food Pantry team. She often pitches in at events too. No matter the situation, Mary is always there, a loyal back-stop and a force you can depend on. We love her and feel lucky to have her here with us.
In the ‘Senior Volunteer of the Year’’ category it was Robyn White’s turn to get some recognition. She’s a Team Leader for Addi Road Food Pantry. Without her the place just would not run. It’s a very big job when you consider we have fed over 250,000 people in the last year, making around 16,000 food relief hampers during Covid, combating food waste and food insecurity while rescuing over 200 tonnes of food going into landfill along the way. Robyn is vital to that work and to every part of our mission. If you really look at those numbers, you can imagine how crazy things can get here – and how much we depend on our volunteers, and most of all Team Leaders like Robyn, to hold it all together. Her background in nursing brings a natural balance of organisation and compassion that has made the year so much better for us. It’s a measure of her contribution that Robyn was also nominated as a ‘Senior Citizen of the Year’. Robyn, you really do make a difference to what we do.
Thank you once again to the Inner West Council’s 2021 Amy Large Volunteer Awards for specifically recognising all our volunteers and the amazing work they have done as a group, and for drawing attention to Joseph, Mary and Robyn for their very special part in making our community the force that it is today.