Our say: volunteers should never go unnoticed

STICKING the same job out for three decades is fairly impressive. 

Doing that in a voluntary capacity, without being paid a cent, is even more so. 

Add to that being a woman in a role that was once dominated by men, and you’ve got the stuff of legends. 

Robyn Perry has been a volunteer with the Rural Fire Service for 33 years, and she says there has been a dramatic change in the make-up of local brigades, with more women filling boots on the ground than ever before.

“When I first joined, there weren’t many women in the service, now it’s just about equal with women and men, which is good to see,” Ms Perry told The Leader.

Not only that, Ms Perry has also been on the beat with St John’s Ambulance for the last three-and-a-half years.

She has been recognised as one of the region’s longest-serving volunteers at the Gift of Time ceremony in Tamworth. 

Whether it’s providing first aid or helping defend communities from fires, Ms Perry said she was compelled towards volunteering simply to “help the community”.

And it’s that message we could all take a lesson from. 

Too often it’s easy to become consumed in our own lives – working hard at your job to get ahead or to earn enough to buy the latest on your wish list – but it’s important we remember to help the community.

When the going gets tough, we look to people like the RFS or St John’s Ambulance to help us out.

But the backbone of both those organisations rests with volunteers. 

And we shouldn’t expect someone else to help us out if we can’t help others. 

Ms Perry must be applauded for all of her volunteering across the community. 

Without people like her, our world wouldn’t go round.

Thirty-three years with the same organisation is an incredible feat that should not go unnoticed.

In the lead up to Christmas, despite the hustle and bustle of the silly season, it’s important to remember to give back and help out. 

Ms Perry said there’s always a need for more first-aiders in Tamworth, calling on the community to get involved with the St John Ambulance, especially around the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

To find out more about St John Ambulance, visit http://stjohn.org.au/

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