19 May 2022

Ms TRISH DOYLE (Blue Mountains) (17:02): National Volunteer Week is Australia's largest annual celebration of volunteering and is held from 16 May to 22 May. The theme for National Volunteer Week 2022 is "Better Together". As we are all aware, volunteering brings people together in our electorates, builds communities and creates a better society for everyone. National Volunteer Week is our chance to celebrate and recognise the vital work of volunteers and to say thank you. I pay tribute to the Blue Mountains Food Services, which is a not‑for-profit organisation in my electorate that provides a range of programs and services to residents of the Blue Mountains. Those services include aged-care work, disability services, volunteering opportunities, a social enterprise cafe and more. Blue Mountains Food Services is a proud member of NSW Meals on Wheels and is a registered NDIS provider, with over 20 years of experience in the community in the disability and hospitality sectors. Its services focus on meeting the nutritional needs of its clients whilst addressing the issue of social isolation by engaging clients in social activity and inclusion.

On Monday 16 May I attended a thankyou lunch at the Grand View Hotel at Wentworth Falls. It was a wonderful gathering of a fantastic group of people, some of whom I spoke to prior to the lunch and awards presentation. This week Doreen Kinsella celebrates 40 years of volunteering. Doreen was sitting next to Sharon Joyce who, after a long and fantastic teaching career, has retired. Sharon had just finished her first volunteering shift. I acknowledge the fabulous and very funny Nicole Wilding‑Forbes and the board of Blue Mountains Food Services, which organised the excellent lunch and awards. I promised that I would record each of their names inHansard. They were most impressed by that.

The 2022 Blue Mountains Food Services volunteer celebration awards went to Stewart Williams, Maureen Neville, Michael Leman, John Stoodley, Doreen Stoodley, Sherilyn Page, John Finnerty, Jenny Perkins, Jacquie Hughes, Cathy Kelly, Dermot Cullinane, Maureen Neville, Jeff Mason, Jacquie Cole, Helen Boyle, Brian Luke, Cathy Kelly and Fee Lee. At the end of a long parliamentary sitting fortnight, I thank those people who do real work on the ground to make a real difference in people's lives. I think Blue Mountains Food Services for supporting our community. It is the glue that holds many people together.