SISTERS Lorraine Evans and Narelle Colquhoun not only share the same street address, but a love for giving back to the community.
The sisters, who both live at Hamilton, were just two of the 43 people honoured by Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon at a volunteer service awards presentation last week.
Ms Evans has been volunteering one day a week for six years at Samaritans Op Shops in Newcastle.
When she's not busy at the shop, she sews and knits bears for sick children through Hope Bear Inc, which gives toys to the John Hunter Children's Hospital and Ronald McDonald House.
"When I retired I was just looking for something to do," she said.
The sisters are also members of the Partners of Veterans, helping raise money for those in difficult circumstances.
Mrs Colquhoun's face would also be familiar to anyone who has popped into the blood bank on Watt Street in Newcastle. She makes milkshakes for those who have donated.
The most recent figures reveal that almost 6 million Australians, including 17,000 Novocastrians, volunteer each year.
Ms Claydon said she was proud to honour people from a large cross-section of the community.
The age of the Newcastle award recipients ranged from 14 to 80, and volunteered in various fields such as aged care, sports administration and coaching as well as legal aid.
"None of them think they deserve an award; they're all so humble," she said.
"But really their volunteer work could be creating the pathway for the next big sporting champion or repairing clothes for someone who can't afford new clothes.
"They are all such caring and compassionate people."
Ms Claydon said the value of volunteering could not be underestimated, with volunteers contributing about $200 billion to the Australian economy annually.
2014 Newcastle Service Awards
- Jemma Gosper for Newcastle Middle School
- Linda Pompe for Hamilton Public School
- June Went for Newcastle High School - Welfare team
- Plan-It Youth Mentors for Collaghan College, Waratah Technology Campus
- Tina Nicol, Nightly Reading Co-ordinator for Mayfield East Public School
- Andrew Peek for Merewether High School P&C Association
- Lee Upton for New Lambton South Public School
- Fort Scratchley Volunteers for Fort Scratchley Historical Society
- Graham Postlethwaite for Fort Scratchely Historical Society
- Irene Butterworth for Stockton Historiacal Society
- Dr Ann Hardy for University of Newcastle - Coal River Working Party
- Ron Larson for Newcastle Museum
- Lorraine Evans for Samaritans, Hope Bear Inc, Partners of Veterans
- Narelle Colquhoun for Red Cross Blood Bank, Hope Bear Inc, Partners of Veterans
- Gaynor Morris for Penola House Refugee Support
- Oliver (Olly) Misson for Newcastle Knights Supporters Club
- Jeffrey Misson for Newcastle Knights Supporters Club
- Ted Bassingthwaighte for Surfing Newcastle, Bar Reef Board Riders Club, Disabled Surfer;' Association, Newcastle City Council Bathers Way Reference Committee
- Peter Nicol for Uniting Church Adamstown Community Care
- Jean Charlton for St Andrew's Presbyterian Church
- Sue Liddell and Carole Lorimer for Meals On Wheels
- Professional Legal Training Volunteers for Hunter Community Legal Centre
- Alan Bidner for Radio 1629, Animal Refuge Op-Shop
- Anne Clark for Hunter Region Botanical Gardens, Samaritans, Grandparents As Parents
- David Gubbay for Newcastle Hebrew Congregation
- Isabella Ferencz for Cooks Hill Surf Life Saving Club
- Margaret Cannington for Red Cross, Ronald McDonald House
- Oenone Wood for PCYC - Newcastle Junior Cycling Squad
- Nancy Tapp for Newcastle Art Gallery
- Sherah Scully for New Lambton Residents Association
- Rachel Sculy for New Lambton Residents Association
- Ian Stirrat for Stockton Bowling Club
- Stephen Thomas Dunne for Newcastle Sub Section, Naval Association of Australia
Health and Welfare
- Fay Griffiths for New Ways Stroke Group
- Pat Cleary for Crossroad Christian Fellowship for the Disabled
- Elaine for Crossroad Christian Fellowship for the Disabled
- Karen Harmon for Under Construction Choir
Pensioners and Seniors
- Anna Marendy for Hippocrates Australian Greek Aged Persons Association
- Adam Lepidis for Hippocrates Australian Greek Aged Persons Association
- The Coffee Pot Day Club Volunteers for Merewether RSL Sub-Branch Coffee Pot Day Club
- Barry Hoare for New Lambton Community Hall Bingo
- Dr Alison Hamilton for Tinonee Gardens Multicultural Residential Facility
- Judith Vankooy for Maroba Residential Aged Care Community
- Lyn Kilby for Throsby Community Forum, Islington Action Group, Throsby Villages Alliance and Salvation Army
- Keith Craig for Stockton Community Action Group
- Kate Johnson for Stockton Community Action Group