Elders employees - volunteering for their community - Elders Rural Services
jarrad-kupsch-talks-with-client-over-the-ute

Elders employees – volunteering for their community

Each year Elders employees volunteer countless hours to supporting their local communities.

Elders actively encourages their employees to volunteer, allowing them two volunteer days per annum.

This National Volunteer Week we spoke to just some of the employees who give up their time to help local organisations. They share their thoughts on why volunteering makes for better individuals and stronger rural communities.

Jarrad Kupsch

As a footy coach, football club committee member, fire brigade volunteer and cricket club volunteer, some might think Jarrad Kupsch has his plate full. But this father of three and Branch Manager at Elders Mingenew has plenty of generosity to give, spreading his time across all of these local clubs, as well as previously holding board positions for WA College of Agriculture Morawa, a CRC, and Mingenew Tennis Club committee.

Jarrad explains that he sees his donation of time is an investment in his community.

“It [volunteering] is wanting to see the town that I live in thrive as well as well as trying to keep mentally and physically fit. Volunteering is a great way to keep active, keep up friendships and connections with others and engage in activities that provide meaning and purpose in life.”

“I am a big advocate for the Act-Belong-Commit approach. We have a great community in Mingenew and I have a young family so I want to make sure there are activities and groups available for them to be part of in the long term as well.”

Jarrad sees volunteering as key to keeping communities alive.

“It’s no secret that regional populations are decreasing and this has a real impact on all community groups, so it’s important we all do our bit to volunteer our time to keep our communities going strong.”

“We want people to stay in the community rather than moving to the larger regional centres. I always encourage my staff to get involved with the community wherever possible so they can feel the rewards too.”

Mandy Gerhardy

Mandy Gerhardy is an Elders Wellbeing Committee Ambassador who spends her free time volunteering at local events and sporting clubs, including 13 years as a show jumping convenor in the horses in action section at the Kapunda and Light Agricultural Show.

Mandy is actively involved in her local sporting clubs, previously holding the position of President of the Kapunda and Light Agricultural Show, President of the Kapunda Tennis Club, coach and umpire at the Kapunda Netball Club and first-aider at the Kapunda Football Club.

Mandy says that volunteer work is crucial for small organisations to flourish.

“To ensure community events and clubs continue, they need sponsors and volunteers. Without them, these special local events won’t happen, and I think that would be very sad to lose,”

 

“Supporting others, especially in my small county town and doing what is needed is something that I want to do, it gives me a good feeling to help and I get to meet a heap of great people. Also, it is important to volunteer to show my children so that they will be the next generation of volunteers

mandy-gerhardy-volunteering
Mandy Gerhardy volunteering at a local event.

Mandy’s advice to get involved in volunteering is to assess your own passions.

“Find out what you are passionate about and give volunteering a go as you don’t know what you are missing out in until you try it. Most clubs, charites and events have Facebook or internet pages that you can use to make contact.”

Kelly Rowe

Kelly Rowe is Senior Sales Support Officer in Bunbury, who uses her exceptional organisation skills to contribute to several local organisations.

As well as being an Elders Wellbeing Committee Ambassador, she volunteers as an Age Manager at her local Dalyellup Surf Life Saving Club, helping kids learn valuable surf skills, and instructing Martial Arts for the Bunbury PCYC’s Young Teens at Risk Program.

Kelly says that volunteering gives her a sense of purpose.

“I am extremely grateful for the privileges in life I get to enjoy, and I get a really deep satisfaction in helping others to realise their own,” she says.

“Most of my volunteering roles involve passing on skills to younger generations. Not only do they benefit, but it drives me to continue to develop my own. I feel this is our duty as we age, to ensure we grow and evolve as a community.”

As well as personal and community growth, Kelly says that volunteering can be crucial to a person’s sense of belonging.

 

“Volunteering gives it members a sense of pride and belonging. When you do something voluntarily it shows true care and appreciation of the community and its members.”

kelly-rowe-teaching-at-the-local-pcyc
Kelly Rowe volunteering at the Bunbury PCYC.

“For people wanting to get involved, don’t delay, just jump in and have a go. Get a friend to join you or encourage a group from your office to do a team building experience together,” Kelly adds.

“You will meet some amazing people and potentially make many new wonderful friends through the experience.”

Learn about the many ways Elders supports its local communities.

Elders in the community