Trusty volunteers celebrated, and more called for

Everglades: Vege patch on a misty Sunday. Photo by Tracy Ponich.
Everglades: Vege patch on a misty Sunday. Photo by Tracy Ponich.

The Blue Mountains Branch of the National Trust (NSW) is celebrating National Volunteer Week by recognising the efforts of the many volunteers who assist in managing the organisation's local properties, namely Norman Lindsay Gallery, Woodford Academy and Everglades House and Gardens.

"While our organisation may have been operating for close to 75 years, its success has not been built on government largesse or organisational hierarchies but on the dedication of a largely volunteer workforce," said Blue Mountains branch chairman, Rod Stowe.

"It's a common misconception that the National Trust is publicly funded across its operations. Although we do have government support for specific projects, for the most part, we are a membership-based, volunteer-driven and donor-reliant charity."

Mr Stowe said that during National Volunteer Week, the National Trust (NSW) would be acknowledging the band of committed and enthusiastic people who contribute their time, skills and energy to the heritage conservation cause in the mountains.

More broadly across the National Trust in NSW, a team of 2,000 volunteers supports the organisation to conserve, advocate for the protection of, and educate and inspire the community to understand and appreciate heritage.

Volunteers undertake a wide variety of tasks. These include acting as visitor guides; providing front of house services such as ticketing and retail sales; tea room food preparation and table service; assisting with gardening and maintenance; and marketing and communications work.

Alexia Lennon has been volunteering in the tea rooms for more than nine years, since moving from Perth where she was a volunteer guide at Government House.

She said it was a "divine" place to work.

"I park my car and I look at that view and I think, I'm the luckiest woman in the world."

But she said they were in desperate need of more volunteers.

Fellow tea room volunteer, Helen Copeland, said the house was "beautiful and gracious" and she loved the magnificent view from the kitchen.

"It's a fabulous place to work. The volunteers are always so friendly and we're all like-minded women of a similar age," she said.

Mr Stowe said volunteers like Ms Lennon and Ms Copeland epitomised the 2019 National Volunteer Week slogan: "Making a world of difference."

He encouraged anyone interested in being a National Trust volunteer to get in touch with Melissa Green, the National Trust (NSW)'s Volunteer Coordinator on 9258 0108.