If you aren’t sure where to start, you have come to the right place!
Trying to find the right crowd?
- Fill in your details here: “I don’t know where I want to volunteer” and we can help match you with an opportunity to your interests.
- Book Southern Volunteering to present to a group of students or job seekers.
Want access to an exclusive students only database? let us know to send it to you!
Are you aged 25 or under, and haven't volunteered before?
We noticed when reviewing research into youth volunteering, that no one has really asked non-volunteers what they think! Help us to bridge the gap by filling in this survey? (Takes less than 5 minutes)
Are you aged 25 or under, have put in an application to volunteer, were previously a volunteer, or are currently volunteering?
A surprising number of young people have experienced difficulty in becoming volunteers, or being recognized as volunteers.
Sometimes this is due to an organisation not being able to work with people under the age of 18 (but not specifying it clearly on their website or role advertisement). Sometimes its due to an organisation recognising its young people as participants rather than volunteers.
Other times it may be caused by admin errors, delays in responding to young people or simply an inability to run a volunteer program that doesn’t interfere with the times a young person is expected to attend school, or is engaged in other activities.
We are particularly interested in hearing your story if you have tried to become a volunteer and for some reason, did not become one. We are trying to reduce how often situations like this occur, to do it successfully we need to know what went wrong! Please let us know what happened in your experience by filling in this short questionnaire by clicking here.
We would also like to hear from people who have found getting into volunteering has been simple and easy, so that we can figure out what is working well and encourage other organisations to replicate what worked for you.
What are common ways young people get in to volunteering?
Students have participated in a ‘soup kitchen’ model for volunteering for eons. Traditionally the format is to take a group of students (often a class, or a small representative group of a school who have chosen to participate) and ask them to volunteer their time provide a product or service with the support of an organisation that cares about doing some good.
Now days, there are many ways that students during school can participate in volunteering, all it takes is for someone to take the time to link the volunteer activity with the school curriculum or consider how it links to developing general capabilities. Other common reasons why students volunteer is to solve a local problem affecting the community, the students or the school, to foster a strong sense of the schools values, or for other opportunities such as the Duke of Ed Award.
Young South Australians have diverse interests, many of them are screaming out for more opportunities to get involved in Sports and Recreation, within the Arts, and around topics related to emerging Digital Technologies. A lot of young people get into volunteering without meaning to. For example – they might turn up to a beach event and join in to clean up rubbish before they start, repeating when friends and fun can be had. Others might start to play netball and end up supporting the club even when they aren’t playing, or maybe they attend a cadets as a participant and eventually sign up to mentor newer cadets at a later date to develop leadership skills.
With Family and Friends
Some people start volunteering with their parents, guardians, siblings or peers (many from quite a young age!). This often goes unrecognised because they are labelled as participants, whilst the older supervising individual is officially signed up as a volunteer. We are working diligently to help get more younger volunteers recognised for bringing smiles to the elderly, bringing their energy to events and for participating in organised acts of kindness. This category can be seen described within the census as informal forms of volunteering, but sadly it doesn’t capture the efforts of those under 15 years of age and it could be argued that it doesn’t capture the full diversity and creativity of organised acts of kindness in Australia.
Volunteer work provides a range of opportunities for job seekers to incubate their confidence, develop real-world experience, network with people who are likely to become work references, and practice skillsets that are easily transferred to the workplace.
Common volunteer positions that job-seekers leverage to help them obtain gainful employment include roles in Administration, Retail, Hospitality, Gardening, Customer Services etc.
We can hardly expect things to stay the same when our world continues to evolve and adapt, Southern Volunteering recognises that there will be new ways that people volunteer. Some we cannot predict, however some of them are somewhat predictable – like those that may arise via social media.
A good example of this can be seen in Facebook’s Community Help section – this serves to better connect people and organisations, but it does come with risks. Make sure you look at each platforms safety guidelines and take common sense precautions when interacting with people online.