The Change Makers: National Volunteer Week 2023

Submitted by Steve oa on 15 May 2023
15 May 2023

This National Volunteer Week, we are celebrating the amazing volunteers who play a vital role within Canteen. This year’s theme, The Change Makers, represents exactly what they do when they volunteer for Canteen - they help us bring positive change to young people’s lives when cancer comes crashing into their world.

We want to say a massive THANK YOU to all the wonderful Canteen volunteers and have shared a few of their incredible stories here.



“I started volunteering for Canteen in 2021 to get some work experience. I was drawn to this organisation since losing my dad to cancer a few years prior when I was 20 years old. I’d heard lots of great things about Canteen and the amazing work they do for young people going through hard times, and being a part of that by assisting with the programs is something I’m proud of.

The Canteen team are truly phenomenal people who made it a fun and inspiring experience for me throughout.”
- Emily

As a Programs Administrative Support Volunteer, Emily is integral to the success of our single day and overnight programs which support young people impacted by cancer.


canteen volunteer emily holding a canteen inclusivity sign



For more than eight years, Bob has been a Research Volunteer for Canteen, always going above and beyond to support the organisation.

Most recently Bob has been assisting with a research project around Canteen Connect, our online community, which provides support to young people impacted by cancer 24/7.

Canteen's Research Volunteers, like Bob, provide support to the Research, Evaluation and Policy team, which drives Canteen’s evidence-based approach to service delivery.


canteen volunteer bob



“There aren’t enough words to describe how amazing volunteering for Canteen is and how it makes me feel. It is a real privilege to be part of such a wonderful team.

Canteen is an amazing, unique and hugely supportive charity and one that I will always be honoured to be a part of and one that will always be a huge part of my life.”
- Tori

Being one type of volunteer isn’t enough for Tori, who is both a Program and Medical Support Volunteer. For more than seven years, she has volunteered at various Canteen events including Life Cycle in WA, our National Leadership Festival and many overnight programs locally and interstate.


canteen volunteer tori wearing a canteen bandanna



Elle first volunteered for Canteen’s community fundraising team in 2022 alongside her company, Viatris, making her a Corporate Volunteer.

Elle enjoyed volunteering so much she will be back to help out this year!

Our Corporate Volunteers assist with a range of activities across the organisation. Elle and her colleagues provided support to the Canteen online shop team, organising and packing our iconic bandannas and merchandise to post to supporters across the country.


canteen volunteer elle holding three canteen bandannas



“I’m a man of few words, but I get so much out of volunteering for Canteen. I guess I’m just a bit selfish.”
- Steve

Steve is everything but selfish as he’s been a Medical Support Volunteer for Canteen for more than 12 years. Steve lives two hours away from Perth, but is always the first to put his hand up to assist with both local and interstate overnight programs.

As a Medical Support Volunteer, Steve provides medical support and information to young people and staff during one-day events and overnight programs. Steve is an incredibly generous volunteer, whose witty jokes and ongoing support make every program and event he takes part in run smoothly.


canteen volunteer steve wearing a standing up to cancer canteen shirt and playing uno



A dedicated Canteen volunteer, Jenny founded Life Cycle for Canteen which is now our largest community fundraising event.

Jenny and the amazing team of volunteers have been running the event for an incredible 24 years and have helped raised over $2.5 million for Canteen.


canteen volunteer jenny wearing a helmet and hi vis while riding a bike



Every year, more than 150 volunteers willingly give up their time to support Canteen so that young people don’t have to face the impact of cancer alone. If you would like to become a Canteen volunteer, check out our current opportunities.