What are the benefits of volunteering?
Volunteering is a great way to meet others from the local community, and to work with like-minded people. Some volunteers also benefit from learning new skills and gaining experience that may help them secure paid work in the future. Other volunteers get satisfaction from putting their existing experience and skills to good use by donating their talents to our programs. Whatever your motivation, you can be sure that your efforts will be making a real contribution to Fernlea.
Who volunteers for Fernlea?
People from all walks of life volunteer with us. Students and young people may volunteer to gain work experience. Many of our volunteers are retired people, looking to put their experience and free time to good use. Other volunteers may work part time so volunteer on their day off.
How much time do I give?
Our volunteers are usually rostered on for around 3-4 hours, once a week (or fortnight), and we usually ask for a 12-month commitment. A regular commitment means we are able to plan our services with greater confidence. If you are not able to commit to a regular shift, that's ok too - we have volunteering opportunities that come up from time-to-time, for example our fundraising and event roles, or different projects we may undertake.
What skills and experience do I need?
Many of our volunteer roles don’t require any experience or specialist skills. Life experience, combined with our own training, are the essentials, along with a positive and caring attitude.
What is the recruitment process?
Fernlea has a rigorous volunteer recruitment process that may include a preliminary phone interview but always a face-to-face interview. This provides us with the opportunity to find out what you are looking for, and to ensure we have the best match for you and those we are committed to supporting. It also allows you to ask any questions you may have.
Will I need to undergo any background checks?
All volunteers are required to undergo a National Police History Check. We also ask that you provide the name and contact details of two referees, preferably from other places you may have volunteered, although they can also be character or work-related referees if this is your first time volunteering.
What training and support will I be given?
Once you have completed the application process but before you start, you will need to undertake our induction training module - this covers the essentials that will keep you safe, and help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a volunteer, as well as the expectations we have of our volunteers. There is also a series of other training modules - one for each of the volunteer roles, which provides more information about the particular role you have chosen. Throughout the year, there will be opportunities to undertake continuing education and external training, as well as chances to network with other volunteers. All volunteers report to a paid staff member, who provides guidance and support on a day-to-day basis.