Stephen Bell, a dedicated volunteer with the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre finds fulfillment in contributing to community well-being. Stephen ‘s passion for volunteering is driven by a desire to meet new people, learn new skills, and make a positive impact on others.

As a registered Psychologist for many years, Stephen wants to promote the well documented research that volunteering provides numerous mental health benefits to the volunteer. In fact, Stephen points out that studies show people who volunteer have greater self-assessed psychological wellbeing, self-esteem, happiness, and satisfaction with life.

Stephen believes in the power of community responsibility, emphasising his commitment to creating a great place for everyone. One memorable experience for Stephen was learning how to navigate a boat across the ocean using traditional tools such as a compass, chart, parallel rulers, and dividers. This valuable skill was imparted by an ex-navy sailor during his time volunteering for marine rescue. The lesson emphasised the importance of being prepared in case modern technology, like the GPS system, were to fail.

In another rewarding role, Stephen served as a volunteer mediator, helping community members resolve neighbourhood disputes. The ability to facilitate dialogue and find common ground brought a sense of accomplishment and contributed to a harmonious community environment.

Reflecting on his volunteer journey, Stephen offers advice to those considering volunteering. He encourages individuals to be aware that they will get out of volunteering as much as they put in. Considering one’s skills and interests is crucial when selecting a volunteer role, ensuring a meaningful and enjoyable experience. According to Stephen, “Volunteering is rewarding, interesting, and uplifting”.

Stephen Bell’s commitment to community responsibility and his diverse volunteer experiences highlight the positive impact individuals can have when they contribute their time and skills to various causes. His story serves as an inspiration for others to explore the rewarding world of volunteering and make a difference in their communities.