It’s National Volunteer Week (15 – 24 May)
Every year Australia celebrates National Volunteer Week (15-24 May). This year’s theme is “Changing Communities. Changing Lives” which is at the heart of what The Benevolent Society's volunteers do. We thank all of our volunteers for their outstanding commitment to helping people live their best life.
A variety of volunteer programs on the Gold Coast
We have 60 registered volunteers on the Gold Coast, QLD region who volunteer across seven programs, all of which are part of our local Early Years Centre.
Read With Me, an outreach program for children aged three to five who are read to by volunteers, providing early intervention so children are more capable and confident before entering primary school.
Living Local, which supports women of migrant or refugee backgrounds. They’re matched with an established Australian who supports their adjustment to life on the Gold Coast, through social engagement. Women’s Space provides social connection and support groups for all women including yoga, meditation, carer support, art and languages.
Volunteer Family Connect (VFC), a program that supports families through weekly visits by trained volunteers to reduce isolation, providing social and emotional support and building parenting capacity and confidence.
“We also have volunteers that manage toy libraries in Nerang and upper Coomera, drivers who collect food from Foodbank and deliver them to centres for families in need and for Nerang’s State School’s Breakfast Club,” Volunteer Coordinator, Philomena Baumann said.
Volunteers who assist in playgroups for 0-5 year olds, help families build connections within their community and enhance parent’s capabilities and confidence.
Adapting to COVID-19
To keep everyone safe our playgroups have been adapted to provide families with activities and connect through their Facebook page. “The Women’s Space are creating virtual connections also through Facebook and VFC volunteers are meeting family needs through phone session," Philomena Said. Living Local are working on ‘Virtual Pen Pals’ with short videos being shared between the participants and volunteers."
Meet one of our volunteers
Stephen Carter volunteers his time by reading to and with children in the 'Read With Me’ program, two mornings a week.
“As a retired primary school teacher, it’s rewarding to use my skills with a much younger cohort and see their development in language and appreciation of literature in each child, Stephen said.. "I enjoy developing a bond with them and seeing them look forward to each session,”
“I love their imaginative conversation and eagerness to work with me. It’s a privilege to be a part of their development in expanding their understanding of language and love for literature.”
Due to COVID-19, all volunteer activities are currently on hold except for the Northern Beaches Food Services program in NSW. If you’re interested in volunteering for this program, please express your interest by completing our General Enquiries form here.