Volunteering Opportunities in Melbourne

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Hi Everyone! I am Jacq from Y3 and together with Katherine (Y3), we are heading the newly revamped SMSV Asclepius Times for this year! We will be publishing different articles throughout the year, ranging from fun (e.g. brunch) to serious topics (e.g. doing your internship in Melbourne). Our aim through our short write-ups is to touch on topics which are of interest to you, provide handy bite-size information from our experiences, as well as hear your perspective on current issues. If there are any topics you would like us to cover, please let us know through Facebook message 🙂

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This article is with regards to volunteering opportunities in Melbourne. I have compiled a list below based on some of our experiences and recommendations. I hope this will be useful for the year-twos who are finding volunteering work for their SDH assignment or just anyone who is seeking to do something meaningful with their time!

1. GlenAllen School
What they do: A specialist school for students with physical or mental disabilities. Most of the students suffer from cerebral palsy and their conditions can be quite severe. Hence, 1 volunteer is usually allocated to 1 student only. The students are between 5 to 18 years old.
What you can do: There are many different types of classes going on at once but most of the volunteers are allocated to either the art class or the swimming class. Your role is to assist the teacher in preparing the students for class and involving the students in the class activities. If you want to be more involved, there are meal assistance and lifting workshops that you can undertake. You must complete these workshops before being able to feed the students or lift them with a hoist.
Location: 7 Allen St, Glen Waverley
Minimum commitment level: None stated but you are expected to go at least once a week for 6 months. Each session lasts for about 1.5h. Application process: Call the school to make an appointment with the assistant principal (Ms Jennifer). She will arrange for you to visit the school and you can start asap!
2. Corpus Christi
What they do: Residential aged care What you can do: Help out with their activities and interact with the elderly residents eg. Bus trips to shopping centres, cooking, arts and crafts Location: 80 Clayton Road (walkable distance to school) Minimum commitment level: None Application process: Takes 1-2 months as there is a police check requirement 3. St. John Ambulance
What you can do: To start volunteering with St Johns, you have to attend several compulsory first-aid workshops throughout the year. There will be opportunities for you to provide first aid at events or concerts and you will be with a senior first aider so don’t worry! However, these events are irregular and unpredictable, so the commitment is on a ‘ad hoc’ basis.
Application process: Sign up as a volunteer under ‘student health professional’. The process may take up to 2 months. Working with children check and a basic first aid certificate is required.

4. Sacred Heart Mission
What they do: Serve free meals to the homeless and socially disadvantaged Location: Dining Hall, 87 Grey St, St Kilda
Minimum commitment level: You are required to volunteer for a minimum of 6 months.
There are 2 shifts: Wednesday 9.30am-2.00pm shift on a weekly or fortnightly basis, or Saturday 9.30am-2.00pm on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.

Others to consider:
5. LifeView Residential Aged Care in Wheeler’s Hill
6. Teddy Bear Hospital
7. Monash Children’s Hospital
8. Embrace Education
“One of the greatest gifts you can give is your time.” You may choose to volunteer just for your assignment or to build up your CV, but while you are at it, remember that you can make a difference in someone else’s life and find meaning in what you are doing. A simple act of caring goes a long way. In the midst of our busy lives, volunteering may feel like a chore, but research from London School of Economics has actually shown that the more people volunteered, the happier they were. I hope you will be able to find a suitable place to volunteer where you can develop your passion and skills.

If you would like to share your volunteering opportunities/experiences with us or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!

Warmest Regards,
Jacquelyn Teo (Med III)
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