ACT Volunteers of the Year announced
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ACT Volunteers of the Year announced

A woman passionate about improving the lives of people on the autism spectrum and a group dedicated to helping arthritis sufferers have been recognised for their important volunteer work.

Jeanette Purkis, who facilitates a support group for Autism Asperger ACT, was named the 2016 ACT Volunteer of the Year on Monday night while the Arthritis ACT warm water exercise team was named this year's ACT Volunteer Team of the Year.

A woman passionate about improving the lives of people on the autism spectrum and a group dedicated to improving the lives of arthritis sufferers have been recognised for their important volunteer work.

A woman passionate about improving the lives of people on the autism spectrum and a group dedicated to improving the lives of arthritis sufferers have been recognised for their important volunteer work.

Ms Purkis' volunteer work was described by the people she helped as "the best thing" in their lives, with some describing her as a "force for good within the Canberra community".

The Arthritis ACT warm water exercise team held more than 350 sessions last year, providing support to more than 3000 people.

Volunteering and Contact ACT acting chief executive Rikki Anderson said the winners were just two inspiring stories about volunteers and the impact of volunteering in the community.

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About 140,000 Canberrans volunteer each year.

"We are lucky to boast the highest rate of volunteering in the country in the nation's capital," Ms Anderson said.

"But there are still organisations that need more volunteers."

The awards were held to coincide with National Volunteer Week.

Volunteering and Contact ACT will hold an open day on Thursday from 11am at the Griffin Centre in the city.