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Volunteering: How to get started

Most people agree that volunteering is a worthwhile thing to do and that giving freely of our time to support others commendable. A lot of people think about becoming a volunteer but question whether volunteering is something they can do.

What can I offer? Do I have the time? Do I have the right skills or experience? Can I fit volunteering in with my other work, life, and family commitments? Can I still go on holidays or visit the grandchildren interstate each year?  Will working with people or animals in need be distressing? What if I start volunteer work and then don’t like it?

Rethinking volunteering

rethinking volunteering

If we believe that volunteering is a worthwhile thing to do but keep getting stuck at the ‘Can I’ or ‘What ifs’, then taking the steps to become a volunteer may seem too hard or possibly not happen.

So, lets reset the view finder and think of volunteering as ‘me time with benefits’ – taking time out from everyday responsibilities to do something you really enjoy, that fits with your lifestyle and commitments, and for a cause you believe in  or a community group you would like to support.  Confidently seeking out the right volunteer opportunities available and experiencing the fun and personal reward volunteer work can bring.

Volunteering: how to get started

If you’re thinking of volunteering, but unsure where to start, this article is for you. ACH Group’s volunteer manager – Tay Parker has put together a few tips to get you started.

Identify what you really like to do

Cooking, reading, shopping, going to the movies, walking dogs, having a drink with friends, watching or playing sport, going to concerts, listening to music, singing, fixing things, gardening, painting, sewing, discussing politics, watching tv – whatever you really enjoy doing or find interesting.

Identify where, how and when you would like to do volunteer work  

With a large or small group of people, by yourself or with only one other person, locally, in the city, at the beach,  for a few months or on an on-going basis, once a week or fortnight, once or twice a year – whatever works for you and fits in with your life.

Identify any interests, causes or community groups you would like to support

Environment, local politics, women’s issues, refugees, aged care, homelessness, arts funding, community safety, animal rescue – whatever you feel connected to, interested in, passionate about, want to make a difference to, or help with. If you’re an advocate for supporting good lives for older people, then joining a volunteering group at a residential care home is the right fit for you. If you’re into women’s health, finding a volunteering group that supports the cause will bring fulfilments to your life.

Once you’ve identified what you really enjoy doing, how, when and where you want to volunteer, and what cause or community group you’d like to support then finding a range of volunteering options is easy.

Both Volunteering SA & NT and Seek Volunteering provide easy to access websites with a broad range of volunteering opportunities within Adelaide and South Australia. Follow their search options to locate a match with a volunteer role that best suits you. Both these sites are updated daily so take your time to find the right volunteering option.

It’s always a good idea to contact a few different agencies or organisations seeking volunteers with your interests and availability requirements. That way you can explore the role, tasks and work environment that’s a best fit for you -enjoy!

ACH Group Volunteer Program Vacancies for 2021– Can you help?

We currently seek volunteers to assist with the following Residential and Community based social, well-being, and support programs. Click here to check out current vacancies and to apply.