Bringing smiles on dark, cold, wet days

JUMP ON BOARD: Sandra Zigra has been volunteering for Shoalhaven SES for seven years and encourages residents to join and pick up valuable skills. The SES takes her across the state; here she helps at the Lake Cargelligo floods.

JUMP ON BOARD: Sandra Zigra has been volunteering for Shoalhaven SES for seven years and encourages residents to join and pick up valuable skills. The SES takes her across the state; here she helps at the Lake Cargelligo floods.

She may not be called to a crisis every week, but Nowra volunteer Sandra Zigra spends many hours each week working for the SES.

On International Volunteer Day on Tuesday, Sandra told the South Coast Register of what she has gained through volunteering.

“I’ve done are amazing things I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do,” she said.

“It’s given me a great deal of confidence outdoors.

“Everyone has some skills they can bring to an emergency service.”

She is the operations coordinator at Nowra, a calm voice on the end of the phone line, prioritising upwards of 250 calls during a storm.

“I have been out on the field and seen smiles on people’s faces in the pouring rain,” Sandra said.

“It’s lovely to know people are very pleased just to see us arrive, hopefully we bring a sense of reassurance.”

Sandra is one of 70 Shoalhaven SES volunteers aged 18 to 89.

Meanwhile, the recent storm has not been as bad as anticipated, aside from a few trees falling, the SES has not been overwhelmed by calls.