The volunteering scene has been a busy one this year at Interchange Outer East.

Volunteers continue to play a vital role in all our recreation programs for children. The majority of programs match children and volunteers on a 1:1 basis, providing children (and volunteers) with the maximum interaction and maximum fun in a safe and supervised environment.

Placement students and volunteers also play an important part in our adult services, particularly in regards to the post school service. As well as assisting with the running of the programs they bring a diverse range of skills and interests to share with participants.

Approximately 40 Interchange families continue to receive regular respite and support through our volunteer host program. Whether it’s a full weekend, a day or a few hours, our fantastic hosts – families, couples or individuals – regularly get together with their host ‘child’ for a wealth of shared time and experiences.

A few volunteering statistics:

  • Recreation volunteers have contributed around $10,000 hours to our rec programs so far this year;
  • Hosts have contributed 4,790 hours of support;
  • Placement students have added another 3,000 hours across the agency.

A significant contribution by volunteers!

Recruitment has been high on the agenda:

  • IOE has taken an active part in Interchange Incorporated’s recent volunteering campaign, #VolunteerforDisability which was funded by NDIA’s Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) grant program . This national campaign aimed to raise awareness of volunteering in the disability sector, as well as working to highlight the contribution that people with disability can make as volunteers. The project gained widespread exposure via public media, including ABC TV, radio and online and the Guardian, and has been extensively promoted and shared on the social media sites of each Interchange agency. Working closely with public relations and video production companies the campaign has produced a series of videos on volunteers plus quick cartoon clips which have been used throughout the campaign and will continue to be used for ongoing recruitment. These have been regularly posted on our facebook site so take a look here https://www.facebook.com/InterchangeOE/  The awareness stage of this campaign has now ended and the campaign will now progress to its next stages dealing with recruitment, training and assessment.
  •  Our Volunteer Roadshow continues with our coordinators visiting local schools and colleges, taking every opportunity to involve schools in promoting volunteering opportunities amongst their students. If you think your school, college or Uni would like to be a part of this, please contact our volunteer coordinators. Adding to this, our volunteer coordinators have also attended a number of volunteer expos throughout the community, spreading the message about the many ways volunteers can contribute to our organisation and the families we support. Unfortunately our STRIVE campaign which aimed to attract country students to volunteer with our programs, has had a slow start. This is a wonderful opportunity for students and our coordinators would love to hear from any country schools or students who may be interested.
  • A volunteer information evening is coming up for potential volunteers aged 14 +, as well as parents and anyone else from the community who is interested in finding out more about the IOE volunteering experience. Check out the details and add your name to the list via https://www.ioe.org.au/services/training-and-info-sessions/
  •  We are on the buses! One hundred posters promoting our awesome volunteer program are being displayed on buses coming out of Knox and Lilydale over the next two months!
    Thank you to Ventura Bus for supporting our volunteer program! Let’s boost this exposure – if you see a poster, snap it, share it and tag us!
  • Our host program is out there with a renewed recruiting effort. Sarah, who has recently taken over the role of coordinating the host program has been contacting schools, community and service organisations, letting them know why our long standing host program is such a valued service. We have added another 3 hosts to our ranks in recent months thanks to the interest generated through the #VolunteerforDisability campaign’s ABC coverage. Sarah has her sights set high and has big plans for the future. Contact sarah.lacala@ioe.org.au if you have any ideas for volunteer host program promotion.

There are so many way to volunteer at IOE. Check out our volunteering page and take the first step towards getting involved.

It’s FUN, it’s FREE and it’s LIFE CHANGING.