Volunteering: How to get started

volunteering and why you should join

How to get started with volunteering

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 2023– Can you help?

We currently seek volunteers to assist with the following Residential and Community based social, wellbeing, and support programs.

Who should I contact?

If you are interested in becoming an ACH Group Volunteer, we’d love to hear from you.

Please contact: Cate Balfour-Ogilvy Volunteer Services Manager (Tuesday – Friday)
0418 966 265
[email protected]

5 benefits of volunteering

Volunteering offers great benefits to improve your overall health and wellbeing

It has been well researched and documented that volunteering is good for us.

From improving our health and happiness to promoting a sense of belonging and social connection, boosting our mood, and making friends, the case for volunteering keeps building.

If you are looking to meet like-minded people, make new friends and feel more fulfilled in life, consider volunteering. Finding the right volunteer opportunity could help you stay socially connected and feel happier. There is growing evidence that volunteering can help improve your overall health and wellbeing. Let’s discuss the amazing health benefits that volunteer can offer.

Volunteering helps prevent isolation and loneliness

Volunteering is a great way to make new friends

More and more older people are now living with loneliness in Australia. Volunteering is a great way to combat loneliness. Finding the right volunteer opportunity could give you a sense of belonging and promote strong social connection with your community. Volunteering opens opportunities for people to meet likeminded people and share common interests. Volunteering regularly help reduce loneliness and facilitates social engagement and meaningful relationships with other people.

Gain a sense of self and purpose

Volunteering can give you a sense of accomplishment. Volunteering as little as one hour a week can have positive impact on emotional health. Giving back to others brings you a sense of purpose and makes you feel good. Helping others has proven to trigger the reward pathway in the brain known as the mesolimbic system which releases ‘feel-good’ hormones such as oxytocin and vasopressin.

Promote physical activity

Volunteering makes you feel good as you contribute to the community

Staying active as we age plays an important role in positive health outcomes. Volunteering helps promote physical activities and help you stay more active whether it’s helping with a social group or at an event.

A sense of belonging

Volunteering is a great way to promote strong social networks. This is because of what’s called “pro-social behaviour”, which means that what we do as volunteers benefits other people.
Research findings suggest this is a beneficial way to connect with your community and build positive relationships through creating social capital, building bonds of trust, co-operation, and respect for diversity.
Volunteering is an adventure. It’s not uncommon to make lifelong friendships when working with likeminded people that share similar interests or passions. Equally important, volunteering enables opportunities to meet people from different walks of life and backgrounds, providing unexpected experiences and opportunity for self- development.

Develop new skills with volunteering

Volunteering is a rewarding activity that is good for mental health

You’re never too old to learn. By volunteering, you can step outside of your comfort zone and learn a new skill. Whether it’s knitting, painting, gardening, woodworking, or public speaking, organisational skills, you can always learn something new from volunteering. Volunteering is a perfect opportunity for you to get involved in something you’re passionate about. Find an organisation that best resonates with your values and a community group that you love supporting and get involved. The greatest gift is to give back to the community.

Are you looking for volunteering opportunity? ACH Group’s Volunteer Program has a broad range of volunteering opportunities within our community, residential, social and health services as well as special events.

Roles available include tutors in art, crafts and social media, social support assistants, drivers, social program assistants and more. Volunteer roles are based at a broad range of metropolitan locations as well as in the outdoors.

If you’re interested in volunteering with ACH Group, call us on 1300 22 44 77 or visit achgroup.org.au/work-with-us/volunteers to find out more.