After 32 years working in the coal mining industry, Ross Gunter said he initially did what most retirees would do.
"I'd fix this, I painted that or built and after a couple of years I became very bored and I said to my wife, 'I need something to do'," he said.
His wife suggested volunteering for Transcare, a Scone based not-for-profit community organisation that provides support and services to people residing in the Upper Hunter and Muswellbrook.
The organisation's volunteer drivers transport community members in need, often to medical appointments in Tamworth, Maitland and Newcastle.
Mr Gunter said at that stage, he had no idea what Transcare was, but "one thing led to another" and he started as a volunteer driver four years ago and had "thoroughly enjoyed it".
For fellow volunteer Gary Hallett, driving for Transcare felt like a natural fit after driving trucks as a career for nearly 50 years and he said he was glad to be able to help out members of his community.
"I've lived in Muswellbrook all my life, so has Ross, and a lot of these people, we know them," Mr Hallett said.
James Dennis, who volunteers for Transcare in Scone, said he had always been involved with community service through football committees and after closing down his business in retirement he needed something to do.
Since joining Transcare, Mr Dennis said he has completed 573 trips totaling approximately 160,785km.
"I started off thinking, there's 20,000km from here to London. So I went to London and back and now I've been around the world four times," he said.
Many of Transcare's volunteers appreciate having a way to keep busy and give back to the community in retirement, but for Brian Davis volunteering with Transcare is something deeply personal after losing his wife to breast cancer.
"The last few months of her life was very devastating. I nursed her 24/7 and while I was doing that I had the palliative care nurses coming out every day and there were things that I couldn't do, I couldn't maintain. I couldn't even mow the lawns on the farm," he said.
"I said to my wife, I'm going to look for something that I can do in the future to help people in the same position as what I'm in."
Nearly 14 years after he first volunteered, Mr Davis said he had enjoyed every minute, but said Transcare needed volunteers now more than ever before after the impact of COVID.
"I've been driving for Transcare for a long, long time. They've always had trouble getting volunteers but it's a lot worse now because of COVID," Mr Davis said.
Mr Davis also said many older volunteers are facing barriers to volunteer as a result of now needing to fill out most paperwork online.
"The worst part is that they're losing volunteers left, right and centre because if we've got to go and get our police report now we've got to do that online," he said.
"There's a lot of older people who are fine on a computer, I'm not."
"Older people like us who are not computer savvy, they go onto the computer and have all these barriers flashed at them on the screen and they've said, 'I don't need this'."
Mr Dennis agreed it was now harder for a lot of older people to volunteer than in the past as a result of the difficulties for them in accessing documents online.
"They're putting too many barriers in front of people," he said.
"They're making it harder not easier."
Mr Hallett agreed aspects of the volunteering process were getting harder for older people but said he hoped people continued to volunteer because "at the end of the day, you might want some help yourself".
"I used to say that I'm not getting any younger and I might want some help and Transcare has given me trips away," he said.
"Ross took me to Newcastle because I had a brain tumour removed about six or seven years ago and then I had to go back for some other treatment."
"Some people have asked if I get paid for working with Transcare, but that's not what we're doing it for."
More information on volunteering with Transcare is available at the organisation's website or by phoning 6545 3113.