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A new three-year plan and a new co-ordinator!

Welcome to Spring! It’s been an extra long cold winter but the flower buds are bursting with new life and so are we at Volunteer for Knox after working on our draft for a three year strategic plan with Knox City Council staff and our governance team comprising the managers of the five Knox Community Houses known as the Knox Learning Alliance.
We are also welcoming on board our new Volunteer for Knox co-ordinator Leanne Conway in mid October. Leanne has 30 years of experience working in the not for profit sector and of course this involved managing many volunteers! She is currently completing her Bachelor Degree in Social Work.

Volunteer for Knox Co-ordinator Janet Myers-Creed resigned from Volunteer for Knox in early September 2019. She has loved working with everyone over the past five years and the partnerships, relationships and rapport she has built. After a little time off she hopes to start her own private practice next year. We all wish her the best of luck with her new endeavours!

IMPORTANT REQUEST

Current Volunteer of Public Liability Insurance 

If you currently receive or have requested volunteers referred from Volunteer for Knox in this new financial year 2019/2020 we need you to email a current copy of your organisation’s Volunteer or Public Liability insurance to a minimum value of $10,000,000 (ten million dollars) or we won’t be able to legally place new volunteers with you.

New Police Check Policy 

Volunteer for Knox has been directed by our funding body Knox City Council to no longer carry out police checks on volunteer recruits.

It is no longer an expectation or requirement of Knox City Council funding that Volunteer for Knox  undertake police checks for all volunteer recruits.

Knox Council now does their own checks for new volunteers and expects volunteer recruiting organisations to arrange the documentation themselves.

Volunteer for Knox will continue to support volunteers to obtain a police check by referring them to CrimCheck, and providing preliminary advice about what will be required, if necessary.

Specific training/information sessions with CrimCheck as a presenter is also being considered for the future if needed.

Volunteer Training

Our governance team the Knox Learning Alliance comprising the five Community Houses in Knox: Coonara Community House, Mountain District Learning Centre, The Basin Community House, Orana Neighbourhood House and Rowville Neighbourhood Learning Centre are able to offer courses for new and existing volunteers. So if you are a bit rusty on the computer or need to update your resume then let us know. We can help tailor courses just for you at little or no cost.

Volunteer for Knox Trends 2016 - 2019

Total Registrations

Registrations have grown significantly over the past three years with 142 new volunteer registrations in 2018/2019.

Gender

The trend for females to outnumber males continues with a total of 320 females and 101 males.  No volunteers identified as other than male/female.

Age Groups

Observations on Age Groups

25 and under and 56-65 year olds are the core volunteering groups.
46-55 year olds are the largest decline in the 12 month period.

Type of Volunteering

Regular volunteering is by far the most popular with around 251 of the 279 participants. Only 28 registered for special events in 2016 -2018. None of the participants registered for special events in 2018/2019 due to Knox Council now recruiting for their annual festivals and events. There is potential to explore the opportunity for registered organisations to consider offering more special event volunteering.

Reasons for Volunteering

The top reason for people volunteering is to give back to the community followed by gaining work experience and building confidence. Nearly 50 per cent of people volunteering came from an administration background followed by Education and IT in 2018/2019.

Job Seekers

Approximately one third of all registered volunteers declare that they are seeking work. This has remained consistent over the last three years. Volunteering is recognized as a pathway to employment but perhaps V4K could be an enabler for registered organisations to have a more structured approach to supporting their volunteers seeking work?

Diversity

Forty-four percent of the V4K registered volunteers were born overseas. They come from thirty six different countries. In 2016/2017 fifty-one percent were born overseas from 31 different countries and in 2018/2019 forty-five percent were born overseas from 26 different countries. China, India and Sri Lanka are the top three. Whilst having reduced a little, this is still a very diverse volunteer team.

The fastest area of growth for volunteering within Volunteer for Knox has been by people with a disability. In 2016/2017 eight volunteers identified as having a disability. In 2017/2018 thirty-seven identified as living with a disability and nearly 20 per cent in 2018/2019   This represents an increase of over around 300 per cent in the last couple of years. It reflects greater levels of advocacy and self-advocacy in the disability sector as well as government policy to move people from disability pensions into the workforce. Physical disability and mental illness is the most often disclosed.

Languages Other Than English

At the end of 2016/2017 V4K volunteers spoke a total of twenty languages other than English and in 2018/2019 a total of 28 languages. With Mandarin, Cantonese and Hindi being the top three.

Volunteer Frequency

By far the most popular time frame for volunteers was one day a week. There was a significant drop to two days then any more was minor.

Employment Status

The figures seem to be reverting back to similar data in 2016/2017. Student numbers dropped quite significantly compared with 2017/2018 as well as full time and casual employees. Registered unemployed have also dropped over the past 12 months by nearly 50%.

How did you hear about Volunteer for Knox?

Over the past three years the internet was the most popular method of finding out more about Volunteer for Knox, followed by Word of Mouth, Community space and another organisation.

Volunteer for Knox registered 18 new organisations and placed 142 volunteers over the 2018/2019 period.

The Volunteer Victoria Conference

Co-ordinator Sally Dusting-Laird attended the Volunteer Victoria conference on 20-21 June 2019. It was the second state conference with nearly 300 delegates and over 30 speakers. It’s the only conference in Victoria focused specifically on volunteering and designed to attract both the leaders and managers of volunteers, as well as volunteers themselves.

The event was an opportunity for volunteer managers to come together and listen to leaders from diverse backgrounds and leave empowered to critically think about the future.

With the goal to Energise, Enhance, Connect, the multi-streamed conference program covered technology, Inclusion, Peer Support, Leadership, Networks & Partnerships, Research & Strategies and Future.

Seek Volunteer is Australia’s largest online recruitment platform. V4K uploads all position descriptions from registered organisations to this service. Their trends were very similar to Volunteer for Knox with young people between the ages of 24-32 the largest group taking part in volunteering. One in 2 Generation Z born in 2000 have university degrees. They’ll have 18 jobs, 6 careers and live in 15 homes.

At the Seek Volunteer workshop figures showed that more young people were regularly taking part in volunteering than ever before. Not only had participation rates increased, but the time given by individuals had also increased over the years.

Digital volunteering is an area young people are interested in and it’s great for people who want to contribute towards an organisation but maybe don’t have the energy or time to do traditional, face-to-face volunteering.
Recognition is an important component of volunteer retention.

When volunteers feel appreciated and important, they are more likely to feel connected to the program and continue their involvement.

Volunteer Recognition

Volunteer for Knox invite nominations for long or significant service awards. The awards are given to those nominated for their amazing service to not for profit organisations that are registered with V4K. Awards are given to individuals with a lovely recognition certificate, a thank you letter with details provided from their nominees on the service they have given, a V4K thank you travelling cup, a V4K pen and a gift voucher. V4K encourages nominations all year around and V4K staff will visit with the awards and gifts and present to the individual at their workplace. We also ask that a photo be taken as we are establishing a volunteer photo file and will promote the achievements on our website, if permission is granted.

Volunteer Training

Our governance team the Knox Learning Alliance comprising the five Community Houses in Knox: Coonara Community House, Mountain District Learning Centre, The Basin Community House, Orana Neighbourhood House and Rowville Neighbourhood Learning Centre are able to offer courses for volunteers. These courses are at minimum or no cost to volunteers. Please ask Volunteer for Knox co-ordinator Sally Dusting-Laird for more details on already scheduled courses or if tailored courses are required.

Volunteer Induction Session

Our next Volunteer Induction session is on Tuesday October 1 at Coonara Community House, 22 Willow Road, Upper Ferntree Gully at either 1.00pm or 7.00pm. If you know someone that wants to register please tell them to email us at office@volunteerforknox.com.au to register.

Our New Website

Our updated website is now up and running with the new slogan “Change Someone’s World.” You can search for new positions on our website: www.volunteerforknox.com.au

Community Space at Westfield Knox

Community space at Westfield Knox is managed by Volunteer for Knox to promote non for profit services in Knox. We have regular knitting and crafting sessions by community houses, our Knox Community Chess Enthusiasts every Thursday, a community playgroup, free activities for seniors every Friday run by the Australian Filipino Community and so much more.

If you want to book the space to promote your service please contact us.

We're here to help

Thank you for registering with Volunteer for Knox. 
Volunteer for Knox Co-ordinators Sally Dusting-Laird & Janet Myers-Creed
E: office@volunteerforknox.com.au
M: 0429968822
Website: www.volunteerforknox.com.au

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