Vol­un­teers worth weight in gold

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Sadly, from time to time we hear peo­ple say that vol­un­teers might not be the most re­li­able or con­fi­den­tial can­di­dates for a role, or as avail­able as paid staff.

I say that is com­pletely un­true. Vol­un­teers serve to en­hance an or­gan­i­sa­tion, whether through bring­ing their skills, ex­pe­ri­ence, pas­sion and com­mit­ment, or their de­sire to con­trib­ute to change for a per­son, com­mu­nity or or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Vol­un­teers vote for the pri­or­i­ties in their com­mu­ni­ties through giv­ing their time to lend a hand, and they are ab­so­lutely worth their weight in gold.

For ex­am­ple, they might not be as con­cerned with the length of time they spend on the task at hand; whether that’s tak­ing a per­son shop­ping, help­ing some­one with a meal, or even writ­ing re­ports.

In­stead, they are sim­ply fo­cussed on the out­come.

We of­ten re­ceive re­ports back from peo­ple in com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions that their vol­un­teers bring ‘some­thing spe­cial’ to the mix; that unique x-fac­tor that makes them a bridge to build­ing re­la­tion­ships with the com­mu­nity while adding value to the ser­vices and op­por­tu­ni­ties com­mu­nity groups want to see hap­pen.

But, vol­un­teer­ing doesn’t hap­pen in a vac­uum and to achieve such pos­i­tive out­comes or­gan­i­sa­tions will need to look at what they can of­fer the vol­un­teer in terms of pro­fes­sional sup­port and de­vel­op­ment, un­der­stand­ing the dif­fer­ence the vol­un­teer makes and their in­ter­ac­tion within the team.

Vol­un­teers need to feel, and be seen as, part of the whole team, from their paid col­leagues to fel­low vol­un­teers. Achiev­ing that kind of par­tic­i­pa­tion and en­gage­ment with vol­un­teers re­quires a lot of plan­ning, or­gan­i­sa­tion and in­te­gra­tion.

I said that is com­pletely un­true. Why?

Be­cause vol­un­teer­ing doesn’t just hap­pen by it­self. Rather, it is a re­sult of organisati­onal and com­mu­nity for­ward think­ing.

And why wouldn’t any com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tion want these out­comes?

Cen­tre for Par­tic­i­pa­tion part­ners with com­mu­nity groups, large and small, to help them con­nect with and ef­fec­tively in­volve vol­un­teers so that the group’s work in the com­mu­nity will be suc­cess­ful and mean­ing­ful.

If your or­gan­i­sa­tion would like to dis­cuss po­ten­tial vol­un­teer­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, please call the Cen­tre for Par­tic­i­pa­tion on 5382 5607.

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