Volunteer nominated for national honour

Volunteer nominated for national honour

Laine Burnett in the New 2 U op shop.
Laine Burnett in the New 2 U op shop.

Manager of the New 2 U Anglicare Op Shop Laine Burnett has been honoured with a nomination for this year’s Anglicare Volunteer Achievement Award.

Only eight volunteers from across Australia receive nominations, with Anglicare Volunteer Manager Emily Purvis saying that Laine is well deserving of recognition.

“Volunteers like Laine are the reason Anglicare is able to function so effectively as an organisation, reaching people who are in need and making a difference in the community,” she said.

“We depend on volunteers. Laine is a wonderful example of the calibre of people who help make this organisation flourish.”

However, Mrs Burnett said that she considers herself to be a spokesperson for the many people responsible for the boutique Russell Street op shop, as they have all contributed to the shop’s success.

“You don’t get nominated for awards for yourself, a lot of people help you get that nomination. There’s the volunteers at the shop, there’s my husband who’s behind me 100 per cent, there’s all sorts of people who have helped,” she said.

“People volunteered initially and we still have most of the same volunteers that we had then which is pretty incredible – when you think of something that’s been running for 5 years, that you can hold on to some of the people that you started with.”

“It’s fun. They say the more you give the more you get back and I think that’s one of the truest things I’ve ever heard. Once you start volunteering it becomes a bit addictive. I don’t do nearly as much as I’d like to do, but you do what you can.”

The New 2 U op shop has been running for five years, donating its profits to a variety of community projects – from school breakfasts to helping children with deformities.

Laine manages the shop and leads over 40 volunteers, as well as selecting projects around Tumut that could use a little extra help.

“We look at things that are a part of, and are important to, the community. Like the hospital for example, we’ve donated money there. We do it quietly, because you don’t want to brag about what you do, you do it because it needs to be done, and if you’re in a position to do it, you should do it. And I couldn’t do this if all these volunteers weren’t in the shop, so I’m extremely grateful to them.”

Jean Al Taweel from the North Coast was the winner of the Volunteer Achievement Award.

Anglicare is a Christian organisation that is dedicated to spreading the gospel and helping marginalised and socially excluded people in need.