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Volunteers make Playford shine

Volunteers make Playford shine
Published 19 May 2023
It felt important to finish National Volunteer Week on a high note and we couldn't have thought of a better way than sharing some of the stories of our amazing volunteers.

From planting trees in our reserves to stocking library shelves with books, our volunteers are involved in countless initiatives that make a positive impact.

There is definitely something special behind the reason why more than 250 people help us out at the City of Playford each week.

These local legends bring their commitment and enthusiasm every single day and help us to programs and services to the people who need it most.

Gerad Tancred

Our Olympic driver who wanted to hit a home run in retirement

It came as no surprise that Gerad would put his hand up to volunteer after he decided to retire from teaching. After spending almost three decades as a sports teacher, dedicating hundreds of hours to community sports groups and umpiring baseball in two Olympic games, he wasn't quite ready to throw his last pitch.

Gerad would find himself volunteering as a community driver, a role which has seen him pick up and drop off hundreds of people within our community.

"I had a friend invite me to visit Grenville Hub nine years ago and I haven't looked back since. I've helped with home assist, medical and shopping runs," he said.

Gerad said that after living a great life he was ready to give back to his community, "if I can help one person than hopefully I'm doing a good job."

"If you want to volunteer don't be scared to give it a go we are always looking for new people to sign up. We have a great level of training so you won't feel like you've been thrown in the deep end."

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Volunteering leads to personal growth

Friends Debra and Wendy are self proclaimed greenies, the duo had spend years working at a number of charities before finding a home at the community garden at The Precinct.

"We've been volunteering all of our lives. I think there are moments where people don't even realise they are doing it. It can be small things like like helping a neighbour take their bins out; to me that’s where volunteering starts," said Debra.

Both women were happy to see younger people find a passion for growing and were eager to share their knowledge.

"You get more out of volunteering than what you are putting in. We are sharing gardening tips with one another and showing newer members some of the tricks of the trade," said Wendy.

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Volunteering a rewarding experience: Building connections and giving back

David and Maria (pictured above with the photogenic duo Sophie and Matt) have grown to treasure their time volunteering with Playford Friends Group and in term have become vital contributors.

Both volunteers said that it was the unique bonds and friendships they had made with the groups participants, that was bringing them back each week.

"Volunteering here has been extremely rewarding. You get to make life easier for people all while having fun and learning more about who people are," said David.

"I couldn't think of many more experiences which could be this rewarding."

Dave and Maria recently received Premier’s Certificates in recognition for their outstanding volunteer work with Playford Friends Group. Both were extremely humbled to be acknowledged for their contributions.

Maria had previously worked with the group and had formed such a close bond with its participants that she decided to volunteer after leaving.

"It's vital to have volunteers - it's how we stay connected and give back to the community. We wouldn't be able to run programs without the support of people who donate their own time," said Maria.

Thinking of volunteering? You can explore all of our volunteering opportunities here.