Tech savvy Anne making a world of difference

National Volunteer Week (May 20-26) is a time to recognise, support and celebrate the incredible and selfless contribution our volunteers deliver for the Sunshine Coast.

This year alone, more than 1500 local volunteers have so far donated over 15,000 hours of their valuable time and skills towards council’s volunteering program.

This includes volunteering at festivals and events, in our libraries and with nature conservation, environment education, parks and gardens, the Caloundra Regional Gallery, Bankfoot House and the TurtleCare program.

For Kawana Library tech help volunteer Anne Newton, helping local people to better understand and utilise technology has been a rewarding experience.

“I spent many years working as a library assistant in public libraries and I know the problems many people face with they’re confronted with technology,” Anne said.

“Older people, who were born before the technological revolution, really find modern devices challenging and also people over 50 who are looking for work can find it hard because back in their day they door-knocked employers to find work.

“Today you apply for everything online, which is hard if you’re a labourer in your 50s and have never used computers.

“So when I saw an advertisement on the Sunshine Coast Libraries website asking for volunteers to provide ‘tech help’ to show people how to use devices like mobile phones, laptops and tablets, I thought this is right up my street.

“I guess you can say I like helping people and I’m a big fan of ‘life-long learning’ and the saying ‘you’re never too old to learn!'”

“Most of the people I help at the Kawana Library are between 60 and 85 years of age and they’ve typically been given a device like a mobile or a tablet by a family member and they want to know how to use it.

“My customers often walk into my room down hearted, anxious and afraid of their device. My enjoyment is when they walk out confident in how to use their device after we have a chat and a laugh and work through their uncertainties.”

“I actually feel very proud of them for giving it a go!”

Community Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said Anne was one was a shining example of our region’s remarkable history and willingness to volunteer and give back to our local community.

“We’re extremely blessed on the Sunshine Coast to have so many community members who volunteer their time to help our environment or other people like Anne at the Kawana Library with her weekly tech help sessions,” Cr McKay said.

“Making a World of Difference is the theme of this year’s National Volunteer Week and this really sums up what volunteers like Anne and so many others are all about here on the Sunshine Coast.

“This year alone local volunteers have poured 15,436 hours of their time, their skill and their passion into helping make the Sunshine Coast a better place.

“Our volunteers help in so many ways and it’s well documented that volunteering has substantial social benefits for people on the receiving end of their efforts and also for the volunteers themselves.”

For details on council’s volunteering opportunities, including how to apply, visit council’s website.

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