Bridges built by volunteers

Beck Mitchell of Bridge Builders. Picture: JED LANYON

Lilydale’s Bridge Builders Youth Organisation features many volunteers who help adolescents aged 12-25, who find themselves disadvantaged, distressed or in need of assistance.

Beck Mitchell is the executive officer and youth worker for bridge builders. Her involvement with the organisation started when she was a teenager who needed help staying on the right path.

“I’ve been here for 15 years now and I’m always amazed by the level of dedication of our volunteers. They just believe in the cause and have the heart for the community.” she said.

Ms Mitchell shared the importance behind volunteering.

“I’m a really big believer in the art of contribution. When people value something or believe in it, it makes that place better because of their contribution as a volunteer.

“And when you give, you get so much back in return, whether it’s skill development or the sense of being a part of a team, social skills and even a sense of what I’ll call the warm fuzzies.

“You receive a lot of intrinsic value as a person because you’re making a difference.”

98 per cent of those involved with Bridge Builders are volunteers. Ms Mitchell said that for large events the organisation can require the help of up to 80 volunteers at a time.

“Some people volunteer for two hours a week and then we have some people who give 20 or even 40. I’d like to say a sincere thank you to all of the people who choose to volunteer their time.

“I know that it can be difficult at times to volunteer and sacrifice, so I appreciate what people can do and the time they can give.”

Ms Mitchell recently returned from completing the World Marathon Challenge, which saw her run a monumental seven marathons on seven consecutive days, on all seven continents.

She became just the eighth Australian woman to conquer the challenge, raising $50,000 towards her $250,000 goal for Bridge Builders.

“I wasn’t just running for me I was running for the charity, I was running for people who have lost their lives to suicide and running for a purpose is what got me through,” Ms Mitchell said upon returning from the challenge.

The money raised will be put towards programs at Bridge Builders to continue improving the lives of youths.

For more information about Bridge Builders Youth Organisation, visit https://www.bridgebuilders.com.au