A number of Ballarat volunteers gathered on Thursday to be recognised for their work and contributions to the community.
The Ballarat Foundation organised the morning tea as a part of their volunteer week celebrations.
Among the volunteers in attendance was Neil Para, an SES volunteer for the past six years.
"The first job after joining the SES was responding to a missing persons call in Bacchus Marsh," Mr Para said.
"The story had a successful ending.
"Everyone including the families said 'thank you'.
"I felt at the time, 'this is the reason I am here'."
Mr Para is glad he joined the service and encourages people thinking about volunteering to give it a go.
"You will learn a lot if you join and you will meet a lot of people," he said.
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Ballarat Foundation chief executive Andrew Eales said it was important to recognise the vital role volunteers play in our community.
"A day like today is really important because often the work of volunteers is unheralded," he said.
"Volunteers obviously give a lot but they get a lot back as well.
"I think that is the first step in making sure that we can encourage more volunteers to get involved in the community.
"To help somebody along their journey or to make a sport or community event happen, the benefit they get from that is really untapped."
This is the experience of Pam Dennett who volunteers with Uniting.
She saw an ad about helping someone who had an interest in craft and needed some assistance shopping.
They shared similar interests and were paired together.
"It is rewarding and I learn a lot," Ms Dennett
"She gives back to me as much as I give to her."
Mr Eales said: "Traditionally I think volunteering is seen as something that you do after you retire or when you have got a bit more time in your life.
"I think it is really important to understand that anyone of any age and any background can volunteer and get a lot back from it."
L2P volunteer Rodney Stewart said helping young people learn to drive helped him connect with the younger generation. "I want to pass on my life skills."
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