GROUPS that rely on volunteers to deliver services to Knox are facing a crisis as they struggle to recruit new members.
Community organisations such as Lions clubs and hospital auxiliaries are suffering as the numbers of people willing to put their hand up to help is rapidly declining.
The Weekly last year reported on the low numbers of residents who applied to sit on the council's public transport consultative committee.
But Knox mayor Karin Orpen said it was not just council committees that were struggling to recruit new members, but benevolent groups.
"This is endemic of a lot of things. Volunteering groups are having trouble getting people — people are time poor."
Cr Orpen said groups in the Knox area, including the Lions club, had been forced to close their doors because of low numbers.
"Look at our hospital auxiliaries — they've raised millions of dollars over the years but look at the average age of them. I really worry about all of these groups and think who will do all that great work unless we can start to re-energise and revitalise these people. These treasures will be lost."
Upper Ferntree Gully Angliss Auxiliary secretary Maxine Lane said while their group was lucky to recruit four new members last year, that was a rare occurrence.
She said the auxiliary struggled to find people willing to knit and sew for the group's shop at the Angliss Hospital in Upper Ferntree Gully, as well as people with computer skills that could help their services.
"It is becoming a 'me society'— they just expect to have these things here for them," Mrs Lane said. "But the government doesn't provide everything — a small piece of equipment for keyhole surgery can cost up to $20,000, so that's a lot of funding and it has to come from outside."
Anthony Osborne, who is involved with several Knox committees and who last month was named Knox's young citizen of the year, said he had also seen volunteer numbers decrease.
He said compared to local government, there were far more regular volunteers at a state level because they had constant work to do and were recognised for their efforts.
Recruiters should take the time to explain to prospective volunteers what they could get out of it — such as employment opportunities — to appeal to young people. "You need to appeal to their motives," he said.