Having someone to go to the movies with, share a cup of coffee, go on a holiday or even just go on a train trip can seem like a simple act — but for some people it's a big deal. If you have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and love helping people become part of their community, this might be for you!
Social support volunteering is a great way to help make a real difference in people’s lives and help some of our vulnerable neighbours and community members to have a more active and safe social life.
Work for a company? Corporate volunteer teams can also get involved!
We’re passionate about empowering people with disability. Volunteers help across our disability services in a range of areas. They provide support through friendship and social activities, in our offices, and even by accompanying people who need some support to go on holidays. Building relationships is a great way to connect with the community, have fun and make a difference!
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Many older people living in supported accommodation often have very few visitors or friends outside of where they are living. This can lead to feelings of isolation, loneliness and a loss of dignity and independence. Having regular visits or calls from a volunteer can help reduce social isolation and even encourage clients to participate in more activities. Volunteers visit once a week or fortnight and share a cup of coffee and a few stories with clients. The difference this little bit of contact can make to an older persons’ quality of life is enormous. This volunteer role is available in Rockhampton, Gladstone, Townsville and Cairns.
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Volunteers are part of a support team which provides structured in-home support to assist families to meet the goals of their family case plan. The case plan may include goals targeting, parenting skills, role modelling the importance of play, helping to implement routines and positive behaviour role modelling. Families that are supported in this program have undergone significant turmoil and stress and having a friendly person visit them once a week to help keep them on track and work towards their goals makes a huge difference.
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Q. What commitment is required to become a Social Support Volunteer?
You will need to:
- Be able to commit to the role for 12 months
- Be able to commit 2–3 hours a fortnight for a one-to-one friendship match, up to a two-week block once a year for a holiday or 4–8 hours a week during the school holidays
- Undergo a Police Check Obtain a Blue Card (Vacation Care and Family Support volunteers)
- Obtain a Yellow Card for Disability Support volunteers
- Meet with our staff at one of our offices for an initial interview
- Undergo training specific to your involvement
- Maintain contact with the supervisor
Q. What skills does a Social Support Volunteer require?
- Commitment and reliability
- Good social skills
- Be a good role model
- Have the ability to focus on others’ needs
- Possess an understanding of the importance of friendship and social connection
Q. Will I receive support and guidance?
Yes. Our program staff support our wonderful volunteers. We can help you through our various training programs which are regularly offered. We also keep in touch with monthly newsletters. If you need our help or advice, we're only a telephone call away, or you could arrange to meet for a catch-up.
Q. What type of disabilities do clients of the disability services have?
Clients may have a disability of any kind: physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, developmental or people with acquired brain injuries. Our clients' disabilities range from moderate to profound.
Q. What is the age range of Social Support program clients?
- Our disability clients are aged from 18–64.
- Most are in their 30s–50s.
- Vacation care clients are school aged and range from 5–18.
- Family Support Services clients are family groups and include parents, children and sometimes grandparents. Older person program clients are seniors over the age of 65 and usually living in supported living accommodation.