Volunteers play key roles in our communities and now there’s a chance to help shape how volunteering will look in the future, according to Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke.

Ms Cooke is encouraging residents in the Cootamundra electorate to have their say as part of the NSW Volunteering Strategy, which will provide a blueprint for the NSW Government’s investment in the sector over the next decade.

“Our wonderful volunteers are the absolute lifeblood of our communities. So much of what happens in our towns and villages depends on their willingness to devote so much time and energy to others,” Ms Cooke said.

“Almost every day that I’m meeting communities and groups in the electorate, I usually learn that there’s at least one volunteer who has put in the hard work to make things happen, and the NSW Government is committed to supporting them,” Ms Cooke said.

“I encourage anyone interested in volunteering to share their thoughts during public consultation on the strategy. Tell us what you think is working well and what can be improved so we can build a stronger volunteering sector.”

Across the state, more than 2.1 million people volunteer, contributing a combined 240 million hours of their time to causes close to their heart. That’s the equivalent of six million full-time working weeks.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said public consultation will help shape the strategy.

“Responses to the surveys will directly help us to develop the next strategy, and influence how we invest in and support volunteers,” Mr Ward said.

“The new strategy will help reduce barriers to volunteering, improve volunteer recognition and make volunteering attractive to more people.”

An online survey has opened to members of the public and another is available to organisations. The online surveys will close at 5pm on Friday, September 6, 2019.

To complete the surveys or to find out more information about the current NSW Volunteering Strategy, visit www.volunteering.nsw.gov.au