Volunteering is core to our work at the Centre for Participation. We help recruit, train and support quality volunteers, and develop volunteer management systems for organisations that make the process simple. Notably, a very important part of our work is to train and support volunteer managers and coordinators.
Volunteering is activism and although you may not see yourself as a Greta Thunberg or part of Extinction Rebellion, if you are volunteering you are an activist. The word “activism” means to be involved, engaged, and doing good. The same as making a difference; giving back to the community, self-development and meeting new people are just some of the reasons why people say they want to volunteer.
Volunteers make a difference!
It could be making an extra batch of biscuits that is dropped off, with a list of ingredients, to be presented to palliative care patients and their families, or to support your child’s school fundraising drive. Or supporting through time and effort at a conference to bring Indigenous women together so they can connect and tell their stories of the work they do in the remote far north.
What about planting native trees to encourage the native birds, animals, and insects to continue to survive? Or serving on a board or committee, perhaps delivering a meal to an isolated elderly person, or supporting sports events by helping with first aid.
The actions you take as a volunteer, whether large or small, is activism that makes a positive difference to the resilience of our community. So how do you get involved? What skills might be useful?
Relevant skills could include administrative skills; computing; business skills (e.g. accounting); marketing; social media; and other technological skills. Remember, too, that personal interests or hobbies are also important in helping you decide which volunteering role would suit you best.
After undertaking our Introduction to Volunteering workshop, staff at CfP will make a time to meet with you and discuss volunteer positions available, noting your skills, interests and hobbies in order to match you to the best volunteering position.
Volunteers support many other programs: a meal delivery program and skills training. The former has students involved in food prep and getting out and about in the community, which is particularly valuable for English skills, while the latter has a small business component – counting money, prep, and packing.
One of the students, Maryann has come a long way – literally. Originally from the Philippines, her husband died and she needed to support her three children. With little English and no work experience to speak of, she enrolled in the Centre for Participation’s hospitality course. It has been a fruitful exercise.
She has found happiness in building friendships and connections. “I feel connected with people,” Maryann said. “I feel useful, growing, happy to find work.”
Not only has Maryann’s language capability improved, being connected to the Centre for Participation has enabled her to work on achieving her Australian driving license. “I could drive on highway!” she happily said. “I will be able to do things on my own, support myself and be with more people.”
Her hard work and diligence have paid off. Maryann sometimes helps out with meal deliveries but her dream is to cook more. Either way, she loves the people and is quietly very proud of what she has achieved.
Please consider joining our active volunteers. Your lived experience is of value to us and the community. Want more information? Find out here