Ready volunteers The backbone of remote communities

The backbone of remote communities

Community involvement is a key element in overcoming isolation in remote locations such as Ashburton. Volunteers play a big role in bringing the community together. They create a diversity of interests through their involvement in sporting groups, clubs and associations, as well as providing vital emergency services. These services include fire fighting, State Emergency Services (SES) and Ambulance.

Ashburton’s annual Nameless Festival would not be possible without the support of volunteer groups. For example, at this year’s Festival, the SES took care of road blocks allowing the street parade to take place. The netball association took responsibility for bins while Cadets cleaned up removing rubbish ready for the next day’s activities.

As part of the Festival the Tom Price Community Bluey Day where emergency services received donations for having their heads shaved, raised $5,000. Each year, volunteer groups nominate one of their members as an entrant to the Nameless Quest. The 2002 winner was the SES, which raised $6,500 for the community. All funds raised during the Festival are returned to the community.

Last year, as part of the Year of Volunteers, the Shire ran a Volunteers Dinner. This will now be an annual event with volunteers receiving Shire wide recognition for their efforts. All the Shire’s towns depend heavily on the huge time and effort of volunteers.

Another demonstration of Council’s support of local emergency service groups was the recent donation of $30,000 towards the purchase of a new ambulance.