Tens of thousands of school leavers are set to descend on the Gold Coast for schoolies celebrations this November, with locals of all ages encouraged to volunteer a little bit of time to help keep the youngsters safe.
Experienced Safer Schoolies volunteer Michael Hare first became a Safer Schoolies Support Team volunteer when his oldest son Nicholas was a schoolie, and say’s it’s “one of the most rewarding weeks of your life”.
The 64-year-old Gold Coaster has since been helping school-leavers find their lost phones, lost friends and lost apartments for the past 15 years and has signed up again for this year from Saturday 16 November to Friday 22 November.
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“It is a very rewarding week as a volunteer, but also extremely enjoyable,” the well-known local optometrist and touch football icon said.
“The most enjoyable part is seeing young people so happy. The most rewarding part is to be able to offer a guiding hand to help schoolies enjoy themselves in a safe environment.”
So far the recruitment drive to attract 250 volunteers for this year’s Safer Schoolies Support Team volunteer program has hit top gear with about 100 volunteers already signed up.
Interestingly, there’s been an increase in the amount of younger people volunteering.
“What we are also seeing is more younger volunteers coming on board. Many are recent schoolies themselves and understand just how crucial, and satisfying, the role of a Safer Schoolies volunteer can be,” Safer Schoolies Gold Coast Response Advisory Group chairman Mark Reaburn said.
“All volunteers offer something positive, but the younger they are the more they can identify with the schoolies.”
Anyone wanting to apply to be a volunteer and help keep Schoolies safe can do so here.