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Volunteer of the Year 2020 Northern Beaches-Therese Ravell

1 October 2020

Our wonderful Therese Ravell has been named the Volunteer of the Year Northern Beaches at the 2020 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards hosted by the Centre for Volunteering. The nomination described her as a “serial volunteer” who has been helping to steer the volunteering efforts of Meals on Wheels NSW for the past decade. She also helps her local P&C and Cubs branch, Dune Care Group and raises money for the Leukemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave and the Salvation Army’s Red Shield Appeal

For the past 9 years, Therese has been a member of the Meals on Wheels (MOW), NSW Board and said, “Although the board is always highly active in supporting the needs of MOW Services across NSW and their clients, this year has been especially important as the elderly were most at risk from COVID-19.” Therese has also presented at several MOW Conferences covering issues such as grant writing, managing employee performance, board structure, recruitment and more.

Since 2014, Therese has worked tirelessly at the Balgowlah North Public School, P&C securing more than $65,000 in grants for school improvements.
An active and growing local community cubs pack needs a co-ordinator to ensure everyone is aware of the activities and compliance is completed. Therese has held this position for 3 years. In addition, she has also supported many business groups with the aim of assisting fellow business owners in the early stages of establishing their businesses, providing free advice relating to employment and hiring employees.

To boost her work this year, Therese co-ordinated the local school’s World’s Greatest Shave activity raising money for the Leukemia Foundation of Australia on behalf of the Year 6 children. She has also semi-regularly volunteered for the local Red Shield Appeal. There have also been Curl Curl Dune Care and Planet Ark activities.

Supporting youth is a passion for Therese and she has given her time to speak at High Schools, assisting students to prepare their resumes and present for interviews professionally. Therese’s innovative approach to gaining more younger volunteers for MOW Boards has been adopted in many local MOW Associations, resulting in a better balance of skills on the local boards and increased awareness of the value of MOW in the local community.

Therese’s volunteering is driven by a passion to help others. Through her volunteer work she has made a difference in the lives of:

1. The frail aged and the MOW services who support them including lobbying for additional funds, input into challenging decision necessary for the continued functioning of the peak body, coaching and employee support and working with the board to implement COVID-19 safe practices this year.

2. School children at the local public school who have benefited with the construction of a community garden, a Covered Outdoor Learning Area and a sensory playground from the multiple grants received.

3. Cubs and their families who have been involved in a diverse range of activities from flight days, stays on the James Craig first fleet vessel and first aid training.

4. Business owners who are better equipped to be successful in their businesses.

5. Charities who have benefited with money raised for their cause.

6. Youth who are better prepared to enter the work force with confidence and pride in their transferable skills.
    The environment has also benefited with less invasive weeds and more native trees planted.

Those who volunteer or work alongside Therese talk about her kindness and generosity of time and energy which makes their own volunteering or work experience so much nicer.

Therese said: “I am profoundly grateful for receiving this award, as it acknowledges all the valuable work that has gone into my volunteering at the Centre for Volunteering. I am proud to have helped an organisation with their community projects. This award gives credence to the hard work that goes into everything that the Centre for Volunteering does and should be recognised for all the extraordinary work it does for the people of our community.

“Volunteering has helped me in my career, and I am filled with joy to have met and continue to work alongside an outstanding group of people. My volunteer work has allowed me to understand my own capabilities and quickly further my professional skills.”

Therese Ravell runs a successful and growing business Impact HR, has two energetic and busy children and is a cancer survivor. She continues to find ways to help others and is always willing to put her hand up to support those most in need.

The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards: Northern Beaches ceremony 2020 video is available here
To find out more about Therese’s commitment to making a difference, visit https://www.volunteering.com.au/2020-awards-northern-beaches

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