It is important to recognise the role that volunteering plays in people’s lives. National Volunteer Week was held from Monday 18 May – Sunday 24 May 2020. The week helps to focus the community to consider acknowledging volunteers in new and innovative ways through online events, social media and other digital formats.

Volunteer recognition isn’t just about events, so we’ve provided ideas of other ways to recognise your volunteers this National Volunteer Week. It’s also important during this time to keep your volunteers engaged, so we’ve included suggestions of ways to keep your volunteers engaged and ensure they feel connected while they are away.

To acknowledge the millions of volunteers around Australia, this National Volunteer Week invite your organisation to put your hand up and thank volunteers by waving a special smile of appreciation from your own home. Upload your wave to social media – share using the hashtags #NVW2020 and #waveforvolunteers, and tag Volunteering Australia.

COVID-19 has impacted the volunteering sector substantially with almost two thirds of volunteers estimated to have stopped volunteering between February and April 2020. The scale of the cessation of volunteering reinforces the challenge ahead in reinvigorating volunteering in the future. For example, the reduction in volunteering is equivalent to 12.2 million hours per week.

As an advocate for volunteers and the volunteering sector, Volunteering Australia is involved in a wide variety of activities. They work to develop new policy developments, research, community consultations, and co-ordination between Volunteering Australia and other organisations.

There can be no doubt that 2020 has been a challenging year for all Australians but without our volunteers, where would we be? So put your hand up and thank volunteers.