Leading not-for-profit service provider Blue Care is celebrating International Volunteer Day today by thanking its 2311 volunteers across Queensland and northern New South Wales for their invaluable support.

Blue Care is one of Australia’s leading providers of community health and residential aged care, caring for more than 12,500 people every day from when it first started in 1953 as the Blue Nursing Service.

Of the 2311 volunteers at Blue Care, more than 1771 are female. The average age of a Blue Care volunteer is 61, with its oldest volunteer now 93.

Blue Care Executive Director Robyn Batten says Blue Care volunteers offer their time, experiences and individual skills to give something back to the community.

“Blue Care has come a long way since 1953, and as a not-for-profit organisation, much of what Blue Care does would not be possible without the generosity of our volunteers,” she says.

John Bee, 48 has volunteered at the Blue Care Rangeview and Henderson respite centres in Ashgrove and Kenmore, respectively, since July.

The inspiration to become a volunteer came about from a more personal experience that occurred in 2012, where he helped his parents cope with the trauma brought about by his father’s rapid decline with Parkinson’s disease.

“It sounds corny but making a difference to someone’s day is what I enjoy most about volunteering at Blue Care.

“Blue Care is a very welcoming, supportive and professional organisation to work for and I am proud to be a part of the team,” he says.

Blue Care Volunteer Coordinator Fiona Walker believes that it is important to take the time to thank volunteers for their contribution.

“It makes me so happy when clients express their genuine gratitude for their volunteers; people that change their lives and give them something to look forward to in the week.

“Many of our clients say that they could not keep living independently at home if not for their Blue Care volunteer,” she says.

Blue Care Service Manager, Caroline McCormack says the organisation is very grateful for their volunteers who always have so much to give.

“Volunteers bring such an array of skills and talent that we are truly blessed – they join with our staff so that we become one strong team,” McCormack says.

You can find out more about how to become a Blue Care volunteer on their website. If you’re interested in volunteering in general, check out some of our suggestions.