Sunday, 23 November 2014

Successful volunteering - report on session

NEWSTEAD ROCKET SCIENCE # 6 SUCCESSFUL VOLUNTEERINGNewstead Pavilion, November 16th 2.30 - 5pm.

Session notes

Presenter: Helen Yorston, Manager - Bendigo Volunteer Resource Centre
14 people attended. A most positive and information packed session.
Helen discussed a range of issues supported by documentation on display and handed out = *
Key points:
 Variety of Resources available from Bendigo Volunteer Resource Centre in print form distributed . Need to be available to all - RTC Reference Library?
*Dealing with Difficult People; *What is Volunteer Burnout? *Volunteer Guide booklet

Bendigo Volunteer Resource Centre 12 years in operation, extends into Mount Alexander Shire and prepared to link directly with Newstead.  Able to match volunteers to community organisations in Newstead that are registered with BVRC. Will assist with preparation of a brochure for Newstead to promote volunteer opportunities here. 
          * Organisational Registration Form.

 SAVVI - Skilled Adept Versed Volunteer Instructors. Retired professionals operate from BVRC offer their extensive experience and skills, good contacts, networks. Provide  Community mentoring & Support Program, advice, and stay engaged in their community. Individuals and not for profit - strategic, business plans, legal support, IT resourcing. David Wright SAAVI Team Co-ordinator  (Bendigo) explained the services offered by members and the opportunity for other retired professionals to volunteer their skills, expertise, regardless of their location.  * SAAVI brochure

All community groups should aim for Best Practice. BVRC offers support, advice, mentors, templates. * Essential Volunteering Policies and Procedures

Rights and Responsibilities for Volunteers. What are their duties? Who is their supervisor? Induction procedure necessary. Privacy, confidentiality respected but organisation or supervisor needs to be aware of any health issues. Supply water, safety equipment duty of care as for any paid worker.* Volunteer Rights & Responsibilities. * Volunteer Guide : Your guide to why and how you can volunteer, and your rights and responsibilities. * Why are Position descriptions important?

Police Check and Working with Children process - much discussion on streamlining. Politicians need to be lobbied to cut cost, delays of red tape. Why is a volunteer required to do separate Check for each organisation they are involved in - especially in a town as small as Newstead?  One central registering body in town simpler. * Police Checks and Working with Children Checks - Fast Facts.

Risk Management  - some forms essential - each building needs a checklist. Incident Reports required. Insurance - Public Liability is for public only, not  members or volunteers. Personal Risk Insurance for volunteers (similar to workcover) necessary - seek out competitive rates via BVRC. ( Community Information Centre has cheap rates). Example of golf club member injured on a working bee not covered by any insurance as he was a volunteer when injured. Essential to have volunteers sign on and off duty for proper coverage. 

Newstead 2021 
Auspices 8 grants. “happens organically” Governance issues. Acts as a facilitator, repository with legal responsibility.

Centrelink Registered Groups
Discussion on 55+ unemployed who can work 15 hours as volunteer with a community organisation that is registered with Centrelink, and not need to look for work. Does Newstead have a list of those organisations recognised by Centrelink? Could Newstead be missing out on these voluntary work hours? A role for RTC rather than Newstead 2021? 
*Volunteering Guidelines Brochure (individuals receiving Centrelink benefits)

Welcome Kit
How to reach people?
Annual Insert  listing Community organisations in Echo could be revived
Ask What do new residents want to know? Maldon has a newcomers kit with 31 inserts - huge task to assemble and keep current
Ambassadors for Newstead. Welcome to Newstead greeting.
 How can each of us help newcomers to settle in?
Students could be recruited to create a kit
Ice breaker sessions, Monthly socials,  Meet & Greet, Community Lunch, Pool bbqs, schedule for different age groups, working, retired, families, singles etc.
Share your passion, refer others to those who do know a group or activity they could join
Help find out who they can connect with
Kits to be made available to everyone to share with newcomers
Pool already produces a welcome brochure for their activities
Word of Mouth best way to reach others

Recruitment of Volunteers
We are time poor and all lead busy lives, especially baby boomers who may be caring for young and elderly relatives and wanting to travel as well.
Role of Volunteers - 5 points
Skills required
How often

*Recruiting Volunteers - Fast Facts.  * Creating an Engaging Advert

Potential volunteers wary of being tied down, burden of taking on a task, others feel they don’t have anything to offer, lack skills, confidence. Encourage them to try out for a specified time.
Break up task, role into small parts. Small projects
Have FUN!
Traditionally volunteers given jobs no one else wants. 
Don’t waste or bore volunteers - they need to be appreciated, satisfied, feel that they are achieving something, making a contribution, feel involved. * Involving Volunteers :  the Principles

Valuing Volunteers
5th December International Volunteers Day. 
*International Day of People with Disability (UN) Wednesday December 3 - Volunteer Opportunities brochure - Bendigo
May National Volunteers Month - Annual
Acknowledge, Celebrate and Thank Volunteers
Bendigo paper has 5 hot roles for Volunteers - each issue different, specific, creative.
Community Hero - Bendigo Advertiser regular feature

*Fundraising for your Community Group.
Thanks to Newstead Pavilion for a pleasant setting for Rocket Science Session #6. All who attended gained new information 

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