Most would agree that taking up a volunteering opportunity in the community takes a certain amount of selflessness, to be able to put aside your time to benefit the needs of others.
But Hume City Council volunteer Danny Chetwynd-Brown sees volunteering just as much about feeding his own passions and the satisfaction he feels when somebody else kicks a goal with his help.
Danny embodies this year’s National Volunteers Week theme of “The Change Makers”as a volunteer with Hume City Council’s TAC L2P driver education program for the past year.
He has also been at the heart of our community as a Scout Leader for more than 13 years, acting as a “door man” at Sunbury’s Blue Light Discoes, and working with the Kid x Plus initiative at Sunbury Cobaw Community Health.
The youth focus in Danny’s volunteering, which takes place outside his day job as a truck driver, began as a way for him to spend time with his son when in the scouts but quickly began to fuel his drive to change the lives of young people.
“As long as it’s got youth in mind, I’m there,” says Danny.
A genuine enjoyment of these activities in his own life is what underpins Danny’s tireless efforts in giving back – he loves to drive. He’d “drive trucks for free” if he didn’t have to pay the bills, and he cares deeply about positive outcomes for young people.
“I have two passions, one is to empower young people so that they can make a difference, and the other is driving.
“For me, a passion for generating an environment where young people get a sense about what they can achieve...when you see a young person achieve something they didn’t think was possible it’s remarkable.
“When you see a parent see a child achieve something...it’s even better.”
Additionally, Danny believes if people could tap into what ignites that passion in themselves, they would easily come across volunteering opportunities in Hume City – and plenty of new friends.
Referring to Sunbury’s network, Danny speaks warmly of a culture where everyone all “kind of knows each other".
“I got into Blue Light through scouting events, and then you meet more people and more people – so it’s just this big fraternity of volunteers.”
“You meet people who volunteer through volunteering – Sunbury has a great community feel about it.”
He adds that with Sunbury continuing to grow, there is plenty of potential to engage more volunteers beyond the usual suspects.
“I hope with the expansion of the population that will continue. I’m not sure there’s anything that brings volunteers together as an actual event, which would be fantastic, where you can network – ‘what can you provide me and what can I provide you?’ Any event that brings volunteer groups together must be a good thing.”
He says organised events could be the way of the future, as right now a lot of people are unsure how to volunteer. Outside of that, he believes anyone can ask the simple question.
“The best place to start is to ask someone if they can spare two hours.
“Everyone can spare two hours if they turn off their TV and commit the time to something that will bring value to the community.”
At the heart of his volunteering, Danny recognises his joy is not the most important thing.
Because, while he is quick to point out all the benefits helping others brings into his world, he admits selflessness is required when it comes to the outcomes.
“Who I am as a person is a steppingstone for these people’s success. I don’t need anything other than that.”
National Volunteers Week runs from 15 – 21 May 2023. Visit our Volunteering page to learn more about the opportunities across Hume.