Ipswich Meals on Wheels volunteers busy at work.
Ipswich Meals on Wheels volunteers busy at work. Rob Williams

Volunteers most needed in education, disability services

LESS than one fifth of Ipswich residents volunteer their time for the community.

Statistics show 17.9% of the population - or 6769 people - volunteer their time in a form of unpaid work.

As part of International Volunteer Day, residents are being encouraged to recognise the contributions volunteers make to Ipswich, Queensland and the rest of Australia.

It could be the parent who helps out at the canteen at a weekend sports game, or a person who picks up rubbish in a park.

Based on current opportunities listed online, volunteers are needed most in education, youth services and disability services in the Ipswich region.

Figures from Volunteering Queensland show the most popular choice of volunteer work is sport and recreation, followed by religious and community welfare.

Data also shows there are 1.2 million people who volunteer in Queensland, and this is not expected to change anytime soon.

Even with time pressures in modern times, Volunteering Queensland chief Perry Hembury said there was no evidence to show the number of volunteers was declining. But he said certain trends were changing.

Mr Hembury said 'time-poor' and young people were often attracted to volunteer work that involved new technology and innovative projects.

"Many people are attracted to emerging forms of volunteering that involve episodic engagement or by shorter project driven work or events or by opportunities to volunteer 'virtually' and so on, weekend or after-work opportunities," he said.

Statistics show the fairer sex volunteer slightly more, with 36% women compared to 34% of men.

People aged 45-54 had the highest rate of volunteering.

Mr Hembury said volunteers came from different ages, backgrounds and professions.

"The value of volunteering cannot be overstated - participation through people's time, skills and passion adds to a proud culture of giving in our society, contributing more to the economy than some high-profile industries," he said.

Volunteering facts:

17.9% of Ipswich residents volunteer.

1.2 million volunteers in Qld.

Volunteering is more common outside capital cities.

Employed people have a higher volunteering rate than those who are unemployed

In Queensland more than 50% of voluntary work is less than 10 days per year.

Two out of three people who volunteer do so with an organisation.

Volunteer opportunities: at linkki.volunteeringqld.org.au/dotnet/volunteer.

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