About 30 volunteers will next week be recognised for their commitment to improving the lives of people across Sunraysia who are blind or have low vision.

The group of dedicated men and women – who make up a third of Vision Australia Mildura’s volunteer crew – will receive service awards at the organisation’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Evening on Tuesday May 23.

Vision Australia coordinator of volunteers Debra Pearce said this year’s theme, ‘you make it possible’, was particularly true of the local team.

“The importance of our volunteers cannot be overstated,” Ms Pearce said.

“With just five staff members servicing the entire Sunraysia area and beyond, we could not reach out to the 800 or so people who are blind or have low vision without the dedication of our volunteer workforce.

“I often hear people saying that they are ‘just a volunteer’, but there’s no such thing as ‘just’ – they are the backbone of our organisation and make our service delivery possible.”

Ms Pearce said it was an exciting time to be a Vision Australia volunteer, with the recent rebranding of the organisation and a new national manager of volunteers.

“Vision Australia’s volunteer needs are changing,” she said.

“We’re a person-centred organisation, which means we respond to the needs of individual clients, and therefore must explore new ways to use our volunteers to help clients live the life they choose.

“At this event, we acknowledge our long-standing volunteers, but also look to the future and how we can revolutionise the volunteer program to meet the clients’ needs even more successfully.”

Ms Pearce said as Vision Australia expanded its services into new areas, including Robinvale, Euston, Ouyen, Balranald and Broken Hill, the organisation would also be looking to geographically expand its volunteer network.

To enquire about becoming a volunteer, please contact Debra Pearce on 03 5023 9500.