Volunteering takes many different forms and as such whatever skills you possess will usually be needed by some not-for-profit organisation or community group. Skills can encompass administration, handy work, gardening, being a good listener, being a good role model, driving - literally anything. A good idea is to think about the skills you possess and what you enjoy doing, since volunteering is meant to be fun - you should enjoy doing it! When you have decided what kind of skills you would like to offer, you can search for placements looking for those skills.
If you would like some help identifying those skills, please visit us in the Frankston Library. Our Referral Officers will be happy to help. Remember that EVERYONE has SOMETHING to offer and we would be glad to have you on board!
What volunteering opportunities are available?
Within the Frankston Community there are some 700 organisations that use volunteers, so as you can imagine the range of volunteering positions is vast. However, below you will find some that have been available in the past:
Delivering meals on wheels
Mentoring a young person
Social support to someone with a disability
Visiting isolated aged people in their homes
Helping a migrant settle into the community
Assisting at community events
Helping out at a guiding/scouting unit
Reading to children
Helping out at a kindergarten
Helping to tidy up the foreshore
Sitting on a community board of management
Being involved in a community house
Helping to draft a newsletter
Delivering information into the community
Assisting with funding and grants applications
How do I find volunteering opportunities?
Well, you have come to the right place! Not-for-profit organisations and community groups register with us and let us know about the current opportunities they have. This is all done online and thus is right up to date i.e. real time. To find those opportunities, just go the matching service and search for them. If you are not very computer literate, don't worry, we have that covered too - we have Referral Officers located in Frankston Library who will be more than happy to assist you.
Once you have identified the opportunities you would like to pursue, just contact the organisation directly. Since they have listed the opportunity, they will be expecting your call.
What are my rights and responsibilities as a volunteer?
Volunteering is a two way relationship. As a volunteer you can expect to have a number of rights, but you also have responsibilities. Please click here to look at what those rights and responsibilities are.
What rights and responsibilities do agencies that use volunteers have?
Volunteering is a two way relationship. Just as you as the volunteer have rights and responsibilities, so does the agency for which you will be working. Please click here to look at what those rights and responsibilities are.
What kind of training and support can I expect as a volunteer?
You can expect some form of induction or orientation. Many agencies supply ongoing training to their volunteers, which means that you will be gaining new skills. Sometimes agencies offer certificated training meaning that you will be gaining a recognised qualification. If training is of importance to you, discuss this with the person interviewing you at the agency.
What is expected of a volunteer in terms of trust and confidentiality?
Sometimes, volunteers are placed in a position where they are working with adults or children that are considered vulnerable. This comes with enormous responsibility and it is of utmost importance that a duty of care is applied whereby volunteers do not disclose any information about the people they are working with and do not take advantage of the client's vulnerability. A good indication is to consider how you would feel if someone was discussing you or your situation.
Volunteers may be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement. This is normal and will be discussed at your interview, should it be required.
Do I need a Police check and Working with Children check?
This depends on the type of volunteer work that you will be doing, although more often than not agencies are requiring as a minimum a Police Check. If you will be working with children under the age of 18, you are required by law to have a Working with Children Check.
Sometimes these expenses are covered by the organisation or they may require you to already have one before you work with them. Please discuss this with the person interviewing you. Often, our volunteers get the checks done so that they are ready to work as soon as an opportunity becomes available.
Currently, a Working with Children check is free for volunteers and is valid for five years. A Police check, under the Community Volunteer Fee, costs $15.00
You can visit these websites for more information.
Many agencies do offer reimbursement for out of pocket expenses incurred through mileage usage of your own car, making phone calls from your phone, postage paid, etc. However, this does depend on the financial situation of the agency you are working for. It is worth checking what their reimbursement policy covers and what expenses, if any, you may be required to claim.
Are volunteers covered by insurance?
The agency for which you are working should cover you for Public Liability Insurance and Public Accident Insurance for Volunteers, which covers volunteers for any out of pocket expenses related to an injury incurred whilst working for the agency. It would normally cover loss of income.
In accepting a volunteer placement it is important that you check that you are adequately covered by the host agency's insurance policies and that these insurance policies are current.
What happens if I encounter problems?
This is a valid question. Whilst we hope and trust that your volunteering experience is a good one (and please be rest assured, most are), if you do encounter any problems either with the client, the staff or the agency, please discuss it with the contact person at your agency (usually the volunteer coordinator). They should deal with the matter in confidence and offer you the support you need. Ask the person interviewing you what their grievance policy strategy covers. You are also able to contact the Frankston Volunteer Resource Centre for assistance if you need it.
What if I wish to leave the position or try something new?
As with a paid position, you are at liberty to leave the role in which you are working to either try something new or to stop volunteering altogether. Should you no longer be able to work for the agency for whatever reason, as with a paid position please give the agency enough notice so that they may find a replacement for you.
If you would like to try something new you can look for opportunities on this website, or visit us at the Frankston Library.
I am visiting Australia, am I able to volunteer?
Yes! Yes! Yes! Australia has a strong volunteering ethos and we look forward to welcoming people from all cultures and all walks of life into our community. Please visit Volunteering Victoria's Volunteering on Tourist Visas to find out more information. If you wish to volunteer nationally, please visit Go Volunteer for volunteering opportunities around the country.