For many community groups and organisations, the festive season is the busiest time of the year. It is a fantastic opportunity to give back to those less fortunate and help spread holiday cheer. Volunteering roles are in high demand at this time and these positions often fill quickly.
Organisations to consider
- In line with the National Standards of Volunteering Involvement, Volunteering Victoria supports best practice management for all volunteers. This includes the process of adequate support and training for volunteers and appropriate inductions. The number of volunteers in which organisations can safely engage at any one time can restrict the number of opportunities available.
- Lack of resources or limited budgets may prevent organisations expanding programs over the festive season.
- Volunteering is not free. There is a strong focus of ‘time willing given without financial gain’, within the definition of volunteering, however the support required to set up an activity – including personal protective equipment, police checks, insurances and staff to supervise activities – is a real cost for any organisation.
- Paid staff may have annual leave over the festive season. Therefore, the organisation may be unable to provide appropriate levels of support to volunteers, who often have little training due to the limited duration of the activity.
- When considering where you would like to volunteer, think about the skills that you have to offer. This reduces the amount of support that you may require and may make you an attractive candidate for a volunteer role.
- If there are no volunteer roles available, consider providing a monetary donation. This can be a practical and effective way to still support a cause or program.
- People often have greater availability to volunteer, discover community groups and organisations.
- Volunteers can provide new ideas and support new ways of working.
- Volunteers understand and learn about the organisations mission and goals, becoming walking advocates for programs.
- Volunteering over the festive season has the potential to encourage longer-term volunteering.
- Skilled volunteers can make a contribution whilst juggling other commitments.
- Volunteers can support community groups and organisation during peak times.
- Volunteering is a proven pathway to skills enhancement and can have a profound impact upon an individual’s wellbeing.
- There is a growing demand for volunteering roles, which helps to fulfil the demand over peak periods.
Volunteering, no matter what the duration, connects people to community and supports the Australian way of life. Once you have volunteered, you are likely to return for a fix of that fabulous feel-good feeling!