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Diversity pays dividends

Published 16/05/2013

During National Volunteer Week we checked in with Essendon SES and found a diverse group doing some great work. 

"It's nice to have a broad range of ages as everyone can find their niche," says Sandy Faoro, Controller of Essendon SES.

Essendon Unit has had a steady flow of new members and, like most SES units, it includes all sorts.

Ms Faoro wouldn’t have it any other way. Members of SES Essendon, including Michael Leyden on the left and Sandy Faoro at right.

“The exuberance of the younger members rubs off on the older ones and the older ones are happy to help the younger members; life experience beats all else really,” she said.

Having a broad range of members helped everyone find their niche, she said.

“We’re such a close little unit, everyone gets on really well and a lot of people socialise with each other. There are no egos. I keep my office door open and people know they can talk to me and that happens every Monday. Everyone really does get along.”

Michael Leyden signed on with Essendon SES about three years ago after he retired.

“I was looking for some volunteering work and SES was a good option to get out there and do something to help. I’d never been able to do that before,” he said.

Mr Leyden is an operational member of the unit – meaning he works out on the ground at incident scenes – and said storm damage and fallen trees accounted for most of that work.

Training, he said, was also good fun.

“It’s been a great unit – they really appreciate new members and took us right in. They got us operational pretty quickly; they’re a good bunch."

Mr Leyden encouraged others to try their hand at SES volunteerism, especially if they were retired and in search of a contribution to make.

“It’s a great cause and we do some good. It’s great to get out and be appreciated by the community,” he said.

Say thanks during National Volunteer Week at our Facebook page.