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“Help one another, there’s no time like the present and no present like the time.” 

 — James Durst — 

Welcome to Volunteer for Knox News

Registered Volunteers
Spring 2022

Welcome to Spring and it certainly is a welcome relief to feel that warm sunshine occasionally after a winter season that seemed to have started way to early. This edition features information and data about volunteering in Knox over the past year and featured in our most recent 2022 Annual report that has been uploaded to our website for further detail.
 
Over the past 12 months we had just over 1300 people express interest in positions and referred 196 Knox volunteers to some of our 159 registered organisations.

They contributed 61,152 hours to the City of Knox with the value of their volunteering worth more than $2.56 million.
 
Friends of Koolunga Reserve advertisement for Conservation Assistants was the most popular position especially for young passionate people driven by their values and specific environmental issues.

Half our volunteers are aged under 35, many of our volunteers have degrees, they speak 36 different languages and more than 50% were born overseas. Our volunteers were born in India, China, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Zambia, Saudi Arabia and many more countries adding to our rich tapestry of life in Knox.
Volunteer for Knox provide a free service to non-profit organisations and low cost training featuring more than 80 different courses and volunteer focused workshops annually. Please keep an eye out for our V4K Term training guides with the assistance of our governance team, the five community houses in Knox.

There’s a variety of low cost short courses on offer from Administration skills, English as a Second Language, Accounting and bookkeeping courses, upskilling in Computers, Iphones and Ipads, stress relief and so much more. 

The fastest area of growth for volunteering within Knox over the past six years has been by people with living with a disability. One of the priority areas of Volunteer for Knox is to support organisations to be more inclusive of people with disabilities. If you would like to create a Disability Action plan for your organisation please contact us.  
 
The most popular areas of volunteering are in Community services, followed by Disability services and Education support.
 
The Knox municipality has an even spread of volunteering, however, Ferntree Gully, Wantirna South and The Basin have a higher proportion of active volunteers. Students, jobseekers and part time employees are the top three groups looking for volunteer opportunities.
 
The trend for females to outnumber males continues with 75 per cent female volunteers. This year a couple of volunteers identified as other than male/female.

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 come from an Administration background followed by Education, Customer service, Healthcare and IT. Part time and casual workers were more likely to volunteer.
 

Job seekers

Approximately a quarter of all registered volunteers were looking for work or are studying. This has remained consistent over the last few years with volunteering  recognised as a pathway to employment and working with jobseeker agencies.
 
We also partnered with an employment mentor with Jobs Victoria to promote volunteerism to the long-term unemployed. 
 
Volunteer for Knox was invited to be part of a reference group as part of the Linking Carers to Opportunity project. The State Government funded project supports unpaid carers to take a break from their care role, and take time out either through volunteering or building their skills and secure carer friendly work.
 
In August 2021 Mandy Limb joined the team as a co-ordinator focusing on events and community engagement and she hit the ground running organising our fabulous Volunteer Expo in December 2021.
 
After a number of postponements due to Covid-19 our Volunteering Expo finally happened and it was a Sold-Out event. It was an afternoon of perfect weather with a festival atmosphere at Coonara Community House in Upper Ferntree Gully, the home of Volunteer for Knox.
 
The Expo welcomed 25 Volunteer Involving Organisations all offering wonderful opportunities to volunteer within our community and opened the gates to more than 400 people. We are in the process of planning our next Expo, so Save The Date Saturday May 13, 2023, the weekend before National Volunteer Week.
 

Resound Church & Feed One Feed All
Case Study

Mandy has done a great job of pairing up 30 volunteers from Resound Church with Feed One Feed All, a local non-profit to help feed people in need.
 
Caitlyn Pearce is the energetic and inspiring Youth Director at Resound Church. Caitlyn’s vision was to get her team of 15-20 teenagers aged 14-18 years of age and 10 youth leaders involved in volunteering their time to a worthy cause in the community.

She contacted Volunteer for Knox when she had exhausted all other avenues and didn’t really know where to turn next.
Volunteer for Knox had a number of possibilities for Caitlyn but a stand out was Feed One, Feed All (FOFA). Founder and driving force of FOFA Lillie Giang and her wonderful team of volunteers
 
Initial conversations between Resound Church and FOFA centred on how to connect a group of young people that want to do something for their community with an organization that is doing amazing things. Logistically FOFA’s original kitchen in Lilydale had to close at a certain time and the Youth Group wanted to volunteer on a Friday evening. However, the perfect solution eventuated with Resound Church kindly offering their Commercial Kitchen in Scoresby to the FOFA team every Friday. This was an amazing win, win situation. So, the new home of FOFA was established and the Youth group were now on site and ready to volunteer!
 
Volunteer for Knox recognize the importance of partnerships and this is an amazing example of how two enthusiastic and willing organisations have come together for the benefit of the community.
 
We also place volunteers annually to assist Knox Infolink with their Share the Joy Appeal, to provide hampers for people in need in our community.

Volunteer Information Session -
Knox Seniors Festival

Join Volunteer for Knox in celebrating The Knox Seniors Festival with a free Volunteer Information session held at Coonara Community House! Learn about how to get involved in volunteering in the City of Knox!

Network with a Difference – Montania Cafe

On Wednesday September 7 Volunteer for Knox held a ‘Network with a Difference’ meeting for 30 Volunteer Managers of not-for-profit Volunteer Involving Organisations (VIO’s) in the City of Knox. We welcomed our Volunteer Managers to Montania Café in Ferntree Gully where we had an opportunity to discuss the challenges of re engaging volunteers post Covid.

Networking face to face brings a togetherness that most of us have missed during previous pandemic lockdowns and we all appreciated the opportunity to be able to share in the ups and downs of volunteer life.

Not-for-profit organisations rely heavily on volunteers to continue the valuable work they do and reduced numbers of volunteers have impacted organisations greatly putting a strain on their workplace. Volunteer for Knox are continually looking for ways to support our registered VIO’s with resources, guidance, training, meetings and creating connections so we felt it was very timely to deliver an Art Therapy for Stress Management Workshop during our meeting.

Conversations throughout the morning indicated that volunteers are returning slowly to not-for-profit organisations but with caution. Volunteer Involving Organisations have had to work hard to build confidence in their volunteer team. Being prepared and staying up to date with resources has been vital to the smooth transition of re engaging volunteers, including changes to policies and procedures.  

Meg from Balance4Life hosted the hands on workshop and allowed us to explore ways to have less stress and more balance in life. Being able to recognise stress means that we can begin to take control and manage our lives better. With several drawing exercises we explored deeper meaning to our lives with lots of laughs along the way.

Overall the support to build stronger connections through ongoing relationships was very apparent. Together we are stronger.

Volunteer Opportunities Spotlight

Knox Infolink

Knox Infolink are looking for experienced Community Support Worker Volunteers.

If you've completed the CHCCCS004 "Co-existing needs" course or have a Certificate 3 or higher in Community Service they would love you to join their Interviewing team. Minimum of one half day shift a week for 12 months due to the ongoing training and mentoring provided Monday -Thursday. A Police Check and WWC is required but they will assist.

Contact: Anne
Email: anne@knoxinfolink.org.au
Phone: 9761 1325
Website: www.knoxinfolink.org.au

They look forward to hearing from you.

Bridges Connecting Communities

Do you like driving for a purpose and helping community members?

Help transport frail and isolated people in the City of Knox and people with disabilities to medical appointments, planned activity groups and one on one shopping with seniors

Contact: Volunteer Co-ordinator – Leonie Boyle
Email: volunteering@bridgescc.com.au
Phone: 9763 9700
Website: www.bridgescc.com.au

Knox Toy Library

The Knox Toy Library Inc provides the perfect alternative to buying a room full of toys that are no longer played with.

But we need volunteers to help us with our Friday and Saturday borrowing sessions. As a member of the library, your children can take home any toys they wish, and in two weeks, exchange them for more. It gives children the opportunity to experience a wider range of toys than they would normally have access to and allows children to make choices and to learn from their decision making.

Contact: Christopher Guinane
Email: info@knoxtoylibrary.org.au
Phone: 0424 265 790
Website: www.knoxtoylibrary.org.au

Migrant Information Centre

Help stop loneliness and isolation in our community

The Community Visitors Scheme role involves visiting an older person on a regular basis to help alleviate loneliness and isolation. People who speak a second language, even if they have low English speaking skills, are welcome. Travel reimbursement is available.

Contact: Mervat Dahdoule
Phone: 9285 4888
Website: www.miceastmelb.com.au
A State Government funded (Department of Families, Fairness and Housing) Carers Employment Support Program has commenced in the Outer East of Melbourne.

It’s called the Linking Carers project. Unpaid carers of employment age are eligible to access the program to explore their options, current or future, for reconnecting to work, volunteering, social activities and small business development.
 
The project team recognises that it’s not a simple decision to even consider work or study. Some carers will feel that it’s all too hard. However this new project is an opportunity to begin to just think about how it might work, a chance to chat to someone without any obligation, and perhaps to meet up with other carers to have that conversation.

Employment can include working for an employer, unpaid or volunteer work or self-employment. Carers may choose to work only a few hours per week. There is no minimum required.

Contact us to arrange a personal interview regarding the support available
Phone: 0457 646 384 (Leanne) or 0417 361 411 (Leonie)
Email: carersproject@chaosnetwork.org.au
Or check out our website for information about activities at our Linking Carers Hubs (Mt Evelyn, Upper Ferntree Gully and Woori Yallock)
Linking Carers Website

Volunteer for Knox Training

Not everyone is a natural at administration, “tech stuff”, supervision and leadership, but you can always learn and upskill! Start building on your skills by enrolling in a Volunteer for Knox training session facilitated by trainers at the five Knox Community Houses, the governance team of Volunteer for Knox. Click here to take a look at our Term 4, 2022 Training calendar.
www.volunteerforknox.com.au/training

Volunteering


If you know someone that wants to volunteer but doesn’t know where or how to start this fabulous journey please tell them to contact us at Volunteer for Knox to guide them or check out our current opportunities at www.volunteerforknox.com.au/become-a-volunteer

We're here to help

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


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