Herb Specialist. Not exactly the title you’d expect to earn as a volunteer, but that’s how Lorraine Hockey is known at the Playford Community Food Co-operative. ^^ Lorraine Hockey is known as the Playford Community Food Co-operative's 'herb specialist'. Photos: Rob McLean Joining the team at the Smithfield Plains co-op six months ago, Lorraine has found her niche filling bags of herbs for the community facility’s food packs.It doesn’t sound like a hard task, but it’s an important role as the Food Co-op prepares its much-loved food packs for customers who come to the City of Playford-run facility from as far away as Willunga.Food Co-op co-ordinator Carly Palmer said every volunteer has a ‘super power’, Lorraine’s happens to be ‘Herb Specialist'.
For all of that, Lorraine said her actual super power is keeping pace with fellow volunteer Peter Jansen.Volunteering two days every week, Peter packs over 800 Easy Meals that are snapped up by the co-op’s customers due to the ease with which they can be cooked by any member of the family.Peter’s been volunteering at the Food Co-op for over 10 years and said there’s one major reason he enjoys being involved.“It’s the people you work with,” he said.“We’ve got a great boss and the atmosphere and the regular customers are excellent.” ^^ Volunteers Peter Jansen and Lorraine Hockey share some laughs.
For her part, Carly loves seeing her volunteers every day.“We wouldn’t be able to open our doors without volunteers,” Carly said.Between the Food Co-ops at Smithfield Plains and Elizabeth Downs there are 24 volunteers, which equates to around 300 hours per week of additional community support.There are many great opportunities for people of all ages to volunteer within the City of Playford.Volunteers plant trees in parks, stack library shelves, cook at the Grenville Community Connections Hub or help out at the Northern Sound System.For further information, visit ‘Volunteer vacancies’ on the City of Playford’s web page. What is volunteering?Volunteers are people who:
Provide services of their own free will;
Do not receive any monetary reward;
Benefit the community and themselves by participating in volunteer programs;
Complement, but do not replace or threaten the livelihood of, paid workers.What are the benefits of volunteering?We find that volunteering provides a two-way experience that can provide many benefits including:
Gaining new skills and experience that can create pathways to employment;
Meeting new people and being involved in meaningful activities;
Provide opportunities for people to share their skills and knowledge.