- Volunteers are people who freely choose to share time and energies with the community for no monetary reward.
- They are aged from 15-95, come from a variety of backgrounds, and collectively have a vast array of skills.
- Volunteers with special needs are given the opportunity to participate in community life.
- Volunteers complement, but in no way compete with the work of paid people.
- Volunteers play an essential role in our society.
- Volunteers have many different motivations for participating in the community.
Benefits of Volunteering
- Help someone else
- Become actively involved in the community
- Build your confidence
- Meet people and develop social skills
- Feel needed by the community
- Develop personal skills
- Develop work skills
- Learn new skills
- Share in community life
- Gain valuable job experience
- Make a difference
HOW VOLUNTEERS CAN ACCESS THE REFERRAL SERVICE
The Albany & Regional Volunteer Service will maintain details of volunteer positions available. The Centre will obtain information about potential volunteers including details of experiences, skills and interests. This information will help match volunteers with community groups. Potential volunteers will be referred on to selected community groups.
The Albany & Regional Volunteer Service will also work with community groups to ensure an appropriate environment exists for volunteers.
Where needs are identified, appropriate training will be available to potential volunteers to better equip them in their volunteering experience.
Contact the Albany & Regional Volunteer Service and we’ll happily arrange an appointment with one of our trained Volunteer Referral Officers (who themselves are volunteering their time for the benefit of the ARVS).
A referral appointment will take about an hour.
WHAT SHOULD I CONSIDER BEFORE VOLUNTEERING?
- When are you available to do volunteer work?
- You need to identify how much time you have available to volunteer
- When can you volunteer; evenings, weekdays, weekends
- What commitment can you make; short term, one off projects, once a week, long term etc.
- What type of volunteer work you would like to do?
- You need to consider what you would like to gain from volunteer work.
- Think about what interests, hobbies or skills you have or would like to develop.
- What locations are you willing to travel to the volunteer position?
- You need to consider:
- how you will travel; public transport or vehicle,
- time and distance it will take,
- financial costs involved in travelling; petrol or fares.
WHAT SHOULD I CONSIDER WHEN LOOKING FOR A SUITABLE VOLUNTEER POSITION?
Does the purpose of the organisation match your own values and beliefs?
Does the organisation offer the sort of work that interests you and can you maintain or develop you skills?
Will the organisation provide you with a written reference if you need one?
Does the organisation have a written volunteer policy explaining your rights and what you can expect from the organisation? Is it available for you to read?
Does the organisation have volunteer insurance to cover you for the volunteer work you will be doing?
Is there a written job description for the volunteer position you want and does it explain what you will be doing?
Is the organisation willing to provide you with written information about itself?
Does the organisation have a manager of volunteers or a contact person whose job is to support and supervise the volunteer program?
Will you receive adequate training and orientation for you to perform your job?
Will you be reimbursed for money spent on behalf of the organisation?
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE INTERVIEW?
- The volunteer referral officer will explain the interview process and will provide an overview about the world of a volunteer, their rights and responsibilities
- The volunteer referral officer will review the application form you will have completed. The form is designed to seek information to assist in searching for a suitable volunteer opportunity for example:
- What are your contact details?
- What kind of voluntary work you would like to do?
- Are there any special requirements that may affect your volunteer work?
- What times are you available for volunteer work?
- Which locations or suburbs do you want to volunteer in?
- The Volunteer Referral Officer will attempt to locate one or two positions of interest to you. The volunteer referral officer will contact that organisation by phone and will arrange an appointment for you to speak to the organisationThe Volunteer Referral Officer will provide a referral document containing details of the position and contact information for the organisation.
Remember – the decision to accept a voluntary position is up to you.
RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF VOLUNTEERS
- Worthwhile and stimulating activities, using any special skills they may have
- Choice regarding the activities they participate in – to be able to say NO if they are uncomfortable with the task assigned
- Be provided with orientation that will help them understand the agency and type of work they will do
- Receive adequate training, support and supervision to enable them to do their job effectively
- Be given feedback
- Be recognized for their contribution
- Be protected by adequate insurance
- Work in healthy and safe environment
- Have authorized out-of-pocket expenses reimbursed
Volunteers have the RESPONSIBILITY to:
- Be dependable – notify the agency if unable to attend
- Be willing to undertake relevant orientation, training, support and supervision
- Maintain confidentiality and be non-judgmental
- Work in accordance with health and safety regulations
- Work in accordance with instructions and rules
- Say no when they cannot commit to a task
- Respect the rights, privacy and dignity of clients