Re-Engaging in Community
Coronavirus is crippling our most vulnerable community members.
Here’s how you can help…
VOLUNTEER for this innovative program and be a change-maker during COVID-19 and beyond.
About the Program
Working with our community partners and sourcing volunteers makes up a major part of our activities at United Way WA and just before COVID19 hit we were on the precipice of launching our highly anticipated Re-Engaging in Community program.
Simply put this is a buddy system created for people in our community who have been homeless and are now living in their own home, but not confident to engage in their new community.
For some it can be as simple as someone to just say, come on, we’ll go together. The volunteer buddy would accompany the at-risk participant on activities to re-engage in society, break down social and practical barriers and reignite old passions with their new buddy.
Think getting the bus together, finding out where the local walking group meets, joining a volunteer group, working out where you might join in some art classes, finding out if there’s a second hand bike available and making some new cycling friends. The list goes on.
Enter COVID19 and we still have this real and present danger of loneliness and isolation, in fact, we think it just increased! Alas, physical contact is off the table. How are we going to apply this transformative program to a very challenging problem?
From the information collated from our Co-Design workshops we ascertained that ‘being heard’ by a ‘non-judgmental listener’ who ‘had time’, ‘could easily empathise’ and give ‘real life experience’ was what is most needed.
We believe that the majority of our program is still deliverable in this new physically isolating space. While we have to maintain distance we can still distantly socialise.
We also believe that these same volunteers could potentially double as meal delivery volunteers, making sure our community not only engages with conversation, but also has a healthy meal to eat at this stressful time. At a safe distance of course, and we would ensure we followed the best advice possible for the food drop.
So, the call out continues; if you are well and able, have real life experience like overcoming hardships with a positive and inspirational attitude and are comfortable to work in this challenging time, then we call on you to apply!
If the meal drop-off piece is a step too far, that’s ok too, we also want people who can simply be at the other side of the screen or phone for social engagement, chats, encouragement and preparation for when we’re all out the other side.
If either or both options spark joy for you at a time where we all need to feel that we’re doing something useful, please respond and we’ll send the info out.
This program supports people to:
- Develop a feeling of belonging
- Build confidence
- Build connection through physical distancing
- Make plans for the future, discuss activities they would like to try in the future
- Talk about past interests
Volunteers are a key element to the success of this program, we are forever grateful for your support. We would also like to thank our major sponsor Lotterywest and community partners RUAH and 50 Lives 50 Homes Intiative
To be successful in this role it is essential you:
- Are over 18 years old
- Are friendly, approachable and have good communication skills
- Are responsible and able to manage your time well
- Hold some understanding or willingness to learn about the issues facing people who have experienced homelessness
- Have capacity to phone and email for up to three months
- Have good communication skills
- Attend an Induction and Training Session
- Provide two Professional References
- Are eligible for a National Police Clearance (at our cost)
- Are willing to obtain a National Police Clearance
Benefits of volunteering for this program
- Enhance your communication and interpersonal skills
- Give back to the community
- Experience a platform for your knowledge and experience to be shared
- Ongoing support from program coordinator
- It’s rewarding!