“I wish I could bottle the feeling you get when you volunteer”
Over the month of October, the team at VT has headed across the State to hear from volunteers and Volunteer Involving Organisations. The information gathered at these meetings will help VT as we start to work on one of our key pieces of advocacy work – our Budget Priority Statement. This is important as it gives VT an opportunity as your Peak body, to talk about the needs of the volunteering sector as a whole. It’s still a work in progress at the moment – but here are some of the key themes we’ve heard over the last month:
- Volunteer Involving Organisations facing unprecedented levels of change with the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Commonwealth Home Support Programme. Numerous concerns about how our volunteer workforce will be supported throughout wider industry changes.
- The role of the Manager of Volunteers and recognising its importance was a key theme. These roles are critical to the success of a volunteer program, but are often not well understood within organisations, across government and in the wider community. More support for training, ‘best practice’ and keeping boundaries between paid and unpaid staff was identified.
- Ongoing challenges around sustaining and increasing levels of funding – making sure Volunteer Involving Organisations can plan for services into the future.
- Insurance a key issue particularly for smaller organisations. One organisation noted that they spend 12 per cent of their funding on insurance. More support to streamline or make this accessible is required.
- In general more support to help organisations manage WHS, reporting, compliance and Working with Children and Vulnerable Adults checks was needed.
- Volunteer Involving Organisations in rural and regional areas found they were struggling to increase participation. Often a number of barriers exist (transport, ageing population, isolation, promotion of volunteering). There is a need to remove barriers and improve access to volunteering.
- With Tasmania’s ageing population, Volunteer Involving Organisations were keen for more support in planning for turnover in the volunteer workforce – both in empowering older Tasmanians to volunteer and adapting roles to suit the needs of younger volunteers.
- Attracting skilled volunteers was raised as a high need, with strong interest about how business and community sectors can share skills and knowledge
- Marketing and promotion of the volunteering industry as a whole is required – we need to be better as an industry about communicating the value of volunteering to potential volunteers and in our own organisations. This is important to continue to make Tasmania a State known for effective volunteerism.
One comment that has stuck with us at VT across the past few weeks has been “I wish I could bottle the feeling you get when you volunteer”. We know the benefits of volunteering and how important it is to our community. We had so much feedback on how valuable our industry is, and how we need to promote this as being essential to quality of life in Tasmania.
We are continuing to consult with the volunteering industry and make our recommendations. If you have any feedback , thoughts or concerns you would like to raise contact our Policy Officer, Courtney at email@example.com
Updates on our progress will be shared on this site, as well as through our E-News publication.