THE Glyde-In Community Learning Centre marked National Volunteer week with an afternoon tea on Tuesday.
Volunteers are the life-blood of the East Fremantle centre and the afternoon cuppa was a heartfelt thank you, says long-time staffer Ann Reeves.
“We would not be here if not for these people. The centre couldn’t function if we had to pay for those hours.”
Retiree Gordon MacNish, who served on Glyde’s board, says volunteering is a great way to connect with the community.
“I have the satisfaction of doing something useful,” the former scientist says.
Love also blossomed in the centre’s garden, where Mr MacNish met his now-wife.
Another former board member Jono Farmer, who is also a Rottnest Island Volunteer, reckons his volunteering is “totally selfish”.
“My life would be a lot less interesting and fulfilled without my connection to Glyde: You feel part of a family which is important to people, especially older people.”
Research shows that no matter the age, volunteering helps combat depression by maintaining regular contact with people and developing support networks.
Volunteering also helps people stay physically healthy, because they tend to walk more, find it easier to cope with everyday jobs and have better thinking skills.
Glyde-In hosts regular talks on a range of diverse issues like drug awareness, nuclear treaty-making and healthy eating.
On the lighter side there are language classes, art and craft courses, guitar lessons, gardening, bike riding, bus tours, chess and mahjong lessons.
For more info go to http://www.glydein.org.au or call 9339 3964.