Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
I'm proud to say that Victorians have a great community spirit and are willing to roll up their sleeves and get involved with the many organisations and community events that need volunteers.
The benefits of volunteering are significant and include feeling a part of your community, developing new skills, gaining experience, meeting new people.
If you would like to become a volunteer here are some great options to choose from:
Country Fire Authority (CFA) volunteers do an amazing job being on call, protecting people's homes, attending road accidents and so much more. To become a CFA volunteer you will need to register your details here and be prepared to do a recruit training course at your local CFA which takes between 3 - 6 months to complete based on 2 - 6 hours a week training. You need to be available for weekly training which is on a weekend or weeknight and a monthly meeting. You don't need to fight fires to volunteer for the CFA. They also require fundraisers, community educators, public relations, catering and management and recruitment. For more information have a look at the CFA website here.
State Emergency Service (SES) is one of the largest volunteering organisations in Victoria with over 5,000 members. The SES is a control agency for flood, storm and earthquake in Victoria and the largest provider of road crash rescue in the state. They also assist in search and rescue and provide support for major bushfires. If this sounds like something that you would like to assist with, you can register your details here.
Life Saving Victoria are always on the lookout for volunteers to keep watch at one of the 50 clubs around Victoria. If you love the beach and you're a strong swimmer then this could be perfect for you. Click here to find a club nearest to you and then submit an electronic form to the club.
Meals on Wheels deliver nutritious meals to elderly citizens, people who are recovering from major surgery and are unable to cook for themselves and those with disabilities. Volunteering involves delivery of meals in the volunteer's own vehicle. To find out more or to register your interest click here.
Life Line emotionally supports people who are at their most vulnerable and provides a 24 hour seven days a week support line through the help of 11,000 volunteers nationwide. There are varied roles for volunteers including fundraising, office activities, work in a Life Line shop or warehouse and of course 24 hour phone line support service providers. To become a support service provider you will need to undertake an extensive training program, commit to shifts and meet selection criteria. Life Line are always looking for new volunteers, if you think this role would suit you, click here to find out more.
Conservation Volunteers care for coast & waterways, landcare, flora & fauna, parks & reserves, heritage, disaster recovery and healthy community projects. Volunteers can take part for one day or on an ongoing basis. No prior skills or experience is required. To register your interest click here.
Coast Guard is entirely composed of volunteers throughout Australia and helps with search and rescue, public education, safety patrols and more. Volunteers are required for rescue boat crew, marine radio operations, education, administration, fundraising and public relations. To register your interest click here .
Interchange is a wonderful organisation that supports young people with a disability. Volunteers of Interchange can help by becoming a Host. The Host program matches a child or young person with a host volunteer, either a single person, a couple, or a family who can care for the child on a regular basis. You will need to meet the Host criteria and police checks. To register your details click here.
Big Brother Big Sister is an initiative to pair a child with a volunteer in a mentoring role to positively impact on the lives of children. Studies have shown that these children are 45% less likely to begin using illegal drugs, 52% less likely to skip school, 33% less likely to be violent, 27% less likely to begin using alcohol and are more confident. Big Brothers and Big Sisters are always in high demand, to register click here.
Wildlife Victoria is always on the lookout for new volunteers to respond to the thousands of emergency calls made every year. Volunteers are given training and are required to commit to a minimum of 12 months with 8 hours minimum per week. If you would like to help save Australian native wildlife then you can register your interest here.
With so many wonderful organisations constantly looking for volunteers it is difficult to name them all but for a more comprehensive list of volunteering opportunities have a look at Volunteer Victoria website.