Volunteer of the week: It’s a lifeline for Amelie too
TO acknowledge unpaid community support, the Gympie Times is running a Volunteer of the Week column each week.
WITHOUT volunteers, communities would be lost and Amelia Neilson is a real lifeline.
Two days a week Ms Neilson brings smiles to the Lifeline shop in Mary St.
Every Tuesday and Wednesday she walks through the doors ready to give a helping hand, something dear to her heart.
"On Tuesday the donations are delivered and we sort through them," Ms Neilson said.
"We have to make sure everything is washed and clean, ready to go on the hangers."
As well as organising displays in the shop and providing customer service, Ms Neilson enjoys the people the most.
"You come to work and everyone is happy, that's one of the best things about being here," she said. "Their company is something I treasure.
"We aren't a serious lot and we rarely stop laughing.
"You meet so many people and it's great catching up with the regular customers."
Born and raised in Gympie, Ms Neilson is a mother of three and before her volunteering, she stayed at home to look after her children.
Then seven years ago she began working with Lifeline and she hasn't left since.
"Everyone is here to help out and it's heartening," Ms Neilson said.
"The Lifeline shop makes the money so those who need help within the community can receive what they need."
Lifeline provides a range of invaluable community services as well as a 24-hour crisis support for people facing difficulties.
Volunteering is fulfilling in many ways for Ms Neilson, particularly because of the social benefits.
"There are such are strong relationships between all of the volunteers," she said.
"It's like you have a second family and the friendships keep multiplying.
"That's the part of volunteering I love most."
Shop manager Narelle Milsom said Ms Neilson was an asset.
"She really is excellent," she said. "Whatever we need she gives and whatever we ask of her she does."
If you need assistance or you would like to volunteer call the Lifeline shop on 5482 9955.
If you would like to acknowledge the outstanding work of a volunteer contact Lara on 5480 4238 or email@example.com