Sunbury’s Jarrod Bell got a taste for volunteering when he was still a teenager. Today, the Scout leader, community radio committee member, SES media officer and SunFest president tells Matt Crossman that with so many different hats to wear he’s grateful for the calendar app on his phone.


Which community groups are you currently involved in?

Sunbury SES, 1st Sunbury Scouts, Wurundjeri Rover Scout crew, Plenty Valley Region Rover Community, SunFest, 3NRG radio and Blue Light Association Sunbury.


How old were you when you started volunteering?

I’ve been taking on voluntary roles since I was about 15 when, as part of my Venturer Scout award scheme, I was required to provide service to a community group. It’s grown from there to what it is today.


How do you manage to fit so much in?

I get this question a lot … usually my answer is something along the lines of not sleeping. Truthfully, it’s not an easy task – running different tasks, meetings, planning sessions, training, camps, and all the while finding time to maintain a full-time job and time for family and friends. It’s about trying to be organised … often it’s leaving one meeting to rush to another. I like to think of it as organised chaos.


Why take on so many roles?

I credit Scouting for my drive to help others and give back, especially my Scout leader Jeff Amy, who instilled in me the notion that all of us have a responsibility to give back and actively participate in our community, to make it grow, develop and become a better place for all of us.


Where does your desire to help come from?

I’m passionate about our community. Sunbury is a fantastic place to live, work and learn. I wanted to enable the next generation to have the memories and experiences I had, and that can only happen if people put their hand up and volunteer.


What do you get out of volunteering?

A real sense of community. Across generations, ages and groups, I see a broad range of different people.


Which of your many roles gives you the most satisfaction?

My time with the SES has changed my perspective on life. Sunbury SES is a family, dedicated to serving, helping and saving others. I love that we are a group of helpers that go out in the worst of scenarios.


What’s your advice to those who want to make Sunbury a better place but don’t know where to start?

Find something you are passionate about, then find a way to bring that joy to others. It doesn’t need to be an emergency service or youth organisation. Teach, mentor, advocate, learn – there are probably thousands of ways you can volunteer. It doesn’t need to be a massive commitment – an hour a week, a few hours a month – it’s often taking that first step to say ‘yes I want to participate’.