National Volunteer Week: Christ the King School’s helpers say volunteering is in a class of its own

​​​It’s National Volunteer Week and Christ the King School, Graceville wants to thank those in its School community who donate their time for the betterment of students, staff and teachers.

During the coronavirus pandemic volunteer communities were significantly impacted. Lockdowns and closures severed social connections and people drifted away. This was especially so in schools, where grounds sat empty and students and teachers grappled with online learning.

Yet the volunteers, so vital to many school communities, are making a comeback. Parents and caregivers are keen to contribute and be a part of something bigger than themselves.

Christ the King School’s Principal, Damien Sullivan says rebuilding a sense of community that was damaged by COVID-19 has been a priority for the School’s volunteers.

P&F Association President Tegan Russell says volunteering in a School community is invaluable – especially after the pandemic and 2022 Brisbane floods.

“We are so grateful to the many parents and caregivers in our School community who volunteer because they make Christ the King School an even better place to be,” Mrs Russell says.


Making a difference

​Mr Sullivan says the parents and caregivers who volunteer at Christ the King School make a real difference.

“We see the P&F Association creating events and activities that bring the School and local communities together,” he says.

“It might be a morning tea for our new CTK School families, organised extracurricular activities and play dates for students after school, Mystery Readers in our Prep classrooms, or our annual CTK School Fair. There is such depth and colour added to the CTK School experience.”

Mrs Russell says it’s not just about raising funds for school improvement projects such as the installation of new water bottle re-filling stations or resurfacing the Prep and Year 1 play areas.

“Our volunteers help foster the community that is the heart of our School, connecting families and the school in a really positive way,” she says.

​​Coming together to achieve a common goal

Long-time volunteer and P&F Association Sustainability Officer, Kim Lyons, says she feels a strong desire to give back to the School community.

After commencing at CTK in the first year of Covid-19 where opportunities for parent volunteering were severely restricted, she was keen to become involved in the life of the School and experience the CTK community spirit she'd heard so much about.

“By contributing to my community, I am playing a part in something that will continue long after our CTK journey has ended," Mrs Lyons says.

“When people come together to volunteer, great things can happen. It's not about individuals, but about the positive impact that a committed group can have when they lead with their hearts. It also sets a positive example for my children and the children at CTK School when they see their parents and caregivers involved."

Mrs Lyons says she has not only put her existing knowledge and experience to use but has learned many new skills and lessons along the way in her sustainability role.

“I've learnt a lot about recycling, how to incorporate better practices in a school environment and the power of what can be achieved through student-led change," she says.​

But the connection with others and meeting families within the CTK School community is also rewarding.

Mrs Russell says a lot can happen when you work on a School Fair stall with other parents, or you do a shift in the Tuckshop together. 

“I get a real sense that people are grateful, even for the smallest amount of effort.”

Mrs Russell, who also works full-time, and Mrs Lyons, who works at CTK School four days a week, might put in more hours than most, but the P&F Association like to reach far and wide, offering small opportunities that are not onerous or time-consuming to encourage the load to be shared.

“We want our volunteers to feel like they have actually made a difference, because they do,” Mrs Russell says.
She urges other parents and caregivers in the CTK School community to consider volunteering, especially with Christ the King School’s Fair less than a month away.

“Everyone has something to offer. Every little bit counts."​​​

​​​​If you'd like to learn more about the volunteer opportunities at Christ the King School, you can find them here​. For further information about the P&F Association​, you can email​.​