Volunteers are vital at ac.care

GRATEFUL: ac.care chief executive Shane Maddocks has praised foster carers across the region, along with other vital volunteers, for their contribution to supporting country South Australians in need of safe homes and positive relationships.

VOLUNTEERS are vital in delivering ac.care’s mission of ensuring all country people have a safe home, enough money to live on, and strong, positive relationships.

Formed in Mount Gambier 35 years ago, the ‘country specialist’ agency combines the efforts of staff, community partnerships and dedicated volunteers to make a difference in people’s lives.

ac.care chief executive Shane Maddocks said they are a community-based agency working with the people around them as part of the community.

“It shines through in the way volunteers commit to our mission and support us in contributing to improving the lives of country people,” Mr Maddocks said.

“Thank you to our volunteers who all make a wonderful contribution to expanding our capacity to make a difference.”

The agency’s volunteers include close to 200 remarkable individuals, couples and families who share their homes with more than 370 children as foster carers across eastern regional South Australia, supported by ac.care staff.

“These dedicated volunteers, who open their hearts and homes to vulnerable children in need of positive relationships, truly transform young lives,” Mr Maddocks said.

“Sadly, we always need more volunteers to accommodate the growing number of children and young people in state care, but are forever grateful for the efforts of our valued network of carers and the commitment they make.”

Volunteers also contribute to ac.care in many ways beyond foster care, with the homelessness programs delivered out of the Mount Gambier Community Centre at 20-24 Ferrers Street backed by a dedicated support team.

Some volunteers gather weekly at the centre to help pack and distribute emergency food relief hampers to assist people living roughly in Mount Gambier.

Meanwhile, other volunteers share their skills and knowledge, providing opportunities for social engagement and empowering community members to secure tenancies or invaluable employability skills.

Volunteers also help with reception duties through to general maintenance at the Millicent Community Centre, which delivers a diverse range of services to the community.

It not only provides ac.care’s emergency and family support programs, but also acts as a Service SA and Services Australia agent for the town.

A further team of volunteers at Kingston South East also distribute emergency relief packages, as well as coordinating a second-hand shop to raise funds to support ac.care’s valued programs.

“Our volunteers are an instrumental part of the agency and we simply couldn’t provide the range of services, programs and support we do without them,” Mr Maddocks said.

Email care@accare.org.au, call 1300 ACCARE (1300 222 273) or visit their website to contribute to the organisation.