Long Volunteer Service Recognition

May 18, 2016

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Interchange Outer East has had just cause to celebrate over the recent National Volunteer Week. With over 450 volunteers supporting IOE families through their regular contribution to IOE services and programs, IOE knows the true value of its volunteers.

Whilst all volunteers make a huge contribution, the effort of some is outstanding. It is particularly satisfying when this ‘above and beyond’ contribution is publicly recognised. Over the years, a number of IOE volunteers have been nominated for, and been successful in receiving, awards at various community, government or industry volunteer award ceremonies.

In the recent Volunteer For Knox awards, which recognised those people who have contributed many years of volunteering service to their communities with a Long Service Award, Interchange Outer East nominated Hosts, Mia and Evert Jansen and Recreation Volunteer Freya Munzel.

The Jansens who began hosting with IOE’s Volunteer Host Program in 1983 have continued the 33 year old relationship with their ‘host child’ Brendon. Long after the ‘official’ hosting time concluded, Brendon continued to spend a regular weekend with his host family. Brendon is now a middle aged man but still comes to visit and stay over with Mia and Evert. It is an enduring friendship which continues to bring the Jansen’s (and Brendon and his family) “a great deal of satisfaction and joy”.

Freya has been regularly volunteering on IOE recreation programs since 2008, providing 1:1 support for many children with disabilities during that time. In her volunteer role, Freya has proved herself to be very responsible and conscientious but always fun and proactive with the children. Freya is also a Volunteer Host and is now a staff member at IOE. In spite of these commitments, she still steps in to volunteer on holiday programs and weekend activities.

All nominees were successful. Mia and Evert were presented with their award by Janet Myers-Creed, the coordinator of Volunteer for Knox. Freya’s award was accepted by her mother as Freya was unfortunately unable to attend the ceremony. Volunteer For Knox is a Volunteer Resource Centre which recruits, trains, supports and gives recognition to volunteers throughout Knox.

IOE has been notified that another outstanding IOE volunteer, Alyse Cahill is a finalist in the DHHS Victorian Disability Awards in the volunteer category. The award ceremony is on June 15. While we wish Alyse every success in taking out the award, to reach finalist stage in this prestigious award is a great achievement.

by Sandra Leehy

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