VISION Australia is a leading national provider of blindness and low-vision support services in Australia.
It works in partnership with Australians who are blind or have low vision to help them achieve the possibilities they choose in life.
A spokesperson said volunteers had always been at the heart of Vision Australia, and were critical to the services offered to people who were blind or had low vision.
The organisation has about 2880 volunteers across the country, contributing about 724,995 hours of work each year.
The volunteers perform a diverse range of jobs, such as audio description; transporting clients to day programs and low-vision clinic appointments; caring for Seeing Eye puppies; assisting with recreational activities; supporting administration staff; and helping ensure library members receive their material on time.
The experience of having a close family member, who not only has low vision but offers their time, has steered Markus Lenehan, 18, in the same direction.
Markus is a regular volunteer with Vision Australia, helping out with cooking classes and day programs.
He also recently volunteered as a sighted guide for an interstate family, some of whom have low vision, when they visited the theme parks on the Gold Coast.
He was able to make their day memorable by describing what was in the park, and the different rides they could go on.
“Lots of people have done lots of things for me throughout my life. It’s nice to give back and help out where I can,” Markus said.
“I get a lot of joy out of volunteering.
“I have met lots of people and made new friends and connections.
“I’ve also enjoyed lots of different experiences that I probably wouldn’t have come across, if I didn’t give my time.”