Broken Hill school student Abbie Kelly has been named 2021 NSW Volunteer of the Year for her outstanding contribution to charitable causes.
At just 12 years old, Abbie has also been named the Young Volunteer of the Year for her work as a fundraiser and community advocate.
Abbie has supported causes including Land Care and National Tree Planting Day.
She raised $3,500 for the children’s charity Variety, and has helped organise a “Crazy Sock Day” to raise money for the cancer research charity Love Your Sister.
Abbie told the ABC “I don’t do it for the awards, I don’t do it for the publicity – I do it because helping people is what I’m most passionate about in the world.”
“”Getting to see some of the impacts that raising money has on people is just absolutely incredible,” she said.
Helen Mears, having been named the Coffs Coast Senior Volunteer of the Year, has now been named the NSW Senior Volunteer of the Year.
Helen, for 40 years, has been a United Hospital Auxiliaries volunteer at Coffs Harbour Health Campus.
Nationals Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh has praised Helen for her passion and dedication.
“Helen has fundraised for medical equipment, staffed the hospital’s café and gift shop and recruited, managed and inspired countless volunteers,” he said.
John Rodd, a semi-retired cattle farmer from Wagga Wagga, has spent more than 20 years raising and donating young steers to raise money for local community groups.
Wagga Wagga RSL buys the steers and Mr Rodd manages them before introducing them to children at the Willans Hill special education school.
Mr Rodd, having been the 2021 Riverina Club Volunteer of the Year, has now been named the Club Volunteer of the Year.
The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards are run by The Centre for Volunteering and are one of the country’s largest celebrations of volunteering.
Centre CEO Gemma Rygate said volunteers support communities across NSW in many different ways and the awards highlight their extraordinary efforts throughout 2021.
“Despite COVID-19, volunteers have continued to work to deliver meals to the vulnerable; care packages have been provided for families in need in locked down areas; and lifeline phones have continued to be answered,” Ms Rygate said.
To find out more visit https://www.volunteering.com.au/#/