Eight months ago, I looked at several different volunteer positions. Based on a quick Google search, each of the organisations was relatively local and all were in some way helpful, worthwhile and ethical. In terms of the actual volunteer role, all were looking for an ongoing commitment of time.
So what made WCHS stand out? Initially, there were three things:
- There was a position description that was informative. It wasn’t six pages long and it articulated the role. My conclusion – the people behind this project had considered what they needed and what a volunteer needed to know.
- The tasks required of the position had strong alignment to work I had previously done. My conclusion – I had something to offer.
- The regular time commitment seemed indicative rather than absolute. My conclusion – it looked like there would be some flexibility.
So, I followed up with Carrington Health, and was given a briefing about the project…and it was that briefing that sold me on the fact that I wanted to volunteer with Carrington Health.
After the briefing, I knew that the nature of the project really appealed to me. In fact, there were lots of things about the project and WCHS that appealed to me.
- This was a pilot project targeting new parents – not just mums, not just dads, but parents. Innovative, Integrity, Life skills.
- The project had both short-term aims and longer-term strategic goals…and the project manager was prepared to discuss these with someone who was just a potential volunteer. My conclusions – professionalism, respect
- The project manager demonstrated such enthusiasm and commitment to the project. My conclusions – Accountability, Professionalism
- The project sees the merging of ‘traditional’ boundaries between the health and justice sectors. My conclusions – WCHS walks the talk of its vision and mission statements.
So, eight months later, I am volunteering at WCHS. The elements I recognized at that initial briefing were and are still valid. Each time I walk in, it is to an environment where the staff are welcoming, inclusive and professional.
Jo-Anne Bell – Volunteer for Baby Makes 3 Project