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Queensland Ready Reading Program – Townsville

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Queensland Ready Reading Program – Townsville

Parents and community members are invited to register their interest in making a difference in their local community by volunteering in schools to support children’s reading.

Reading is a powerful tool to help children grow their vocabulary, language skills and imagination. It helps them to develop life-long skills that will support their future growth and learning.

The Department of Education and Volunteering Queensland are working together to help improve literacy for children in Queensland by training up to 3000 volunteers to share their knowledge and time to foster a love of reading.

Standard checks

In order to be a take part in the Ready Reading program, volunteers will be required to participate in an interview and undergo standard checks including:

  • ID verification
  • Reference checks
  • Working with Children Check (blue card) and Exemption Cards

Training

Ready Reading volunteers will undergo training to learn about the components of reading, how to support a child with reading and strategies to develop independent reading skills. Experienced staff from the Department of Education’s Reading Centre will deliver the training to ensure volunteers are supported to help students become confident readers. Volunteers are also required to undertake online training delivered by Volunteering Queensland.

The next training session with the Department of Education is scheduled for:

Tuesday 27th August, 9:00am-1:00pm at Heatley

Wednesday 28th August, 9:30am-1:30pm at Bluewater

Thursday 29th August, 9:00am-1:00pm at Gulliver

Volunteers are only required to attend one half day session.

Volunteering in schools

Following completion of checks and training, volunteers will be connected to schools in their area that are participating in the program. Schools will then assume responsibility for engaging these volunteers in their reading programs.

Once placed in a school, volunteers will work under the direction of the principal and may work with individual teachers or across classes.

Registering your interest

For further information and to register your interest in becoming a Ready Reading volunteer, visit: www.volunteeringqld.org.au/ready-reading

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Membership, Services, Fees and Sustainability

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Membership, Services, Fees and Sustainability

Membership

Membership renews annually on the 31st of July and is a partnership with Volunteering NQ’s vision to see a community rich in volunteers and volunteering.  During the 2018-19 year we:

  1. Successfully placed more than 1 volunteer every day and,
  2. Provide training and networking opportunities to 300+ participants

Membership is available to individuals and NFP organisations here.

Volunteer Referral Services

Our Volunteer Referral Services help to attract volunteers from new audience groups and reduce the administrative workload in listing new positions and follow up expressions of interest.  This service is a 12-month subscription renewing on the date of application and includes:

  1. Unlimited volunteer positions listed by Volunteering NQ staff into a national database accessible by potential volunteers at vnq.org.au, SEEK Volunteer and GoVolunteer.
  2. Proofing and creative feedback by Volunteering NQ staff on all volunteer positions descriptions.
  3. Volunteering NQ staff follow-up of all expressions of interest on your behalf immediately, and at 24-hour, 48-hour and 5 business day intervals via multiple methods of communication to maximise engagement of the potential volunteer and reduce the number of uncontactable volunteers.
  4. Volunteering NQ staff check the volunteer’s suitability based on the requirements of the position including background checks, licences and availability to reduce unsuitable referrals.

Our commitment to financial sustainability.

Volunteering NQ receives financial support from various funding bodies and is further supported through the contributions of our volunteer team.  Together, these significantly subsidise the costs of service.  Financial sustainability is important and multiple strategies, including membership fees, service fees and corporate partnerships are being developed to ensure Volunteering NQ continues well into the future. 

A 3-year plan commenced in 2018-19 with the introduction of a standalone Membership fee and tiered fee structure for Volunteer Referral Services.  Rolling service fee increases will follow up to 2020-21 to move our fees to a comparable level within the volunteer resource sector and reflect the continual improvements being made.

 

Corporate and Group Referral Services (New)

An organisational profile can be listed in Volunteering NQ’s exclusive Corporate & Group volunteering platform to both attract and request volunteers and services from Corporates and Groups.  Username and password access can be requested here to list your organisation and request referrals.

Premium Listings (Coming Soon)

Premium listings provide greater exposure and include 4 weeks of:

  1. A highlighted position with a limit of 4 concurrent premium listings
  2. Special mention at any Expo’s and Presentation’s attended during the premium listing
  3. Position card prominently displayed on search pages www.vnq.org.au/search
  4. One social media post on each of the following platforms: Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter and Instagram

Events Package (Under Development)     

A pro-rata 3-month subscription tailored for events looking to attract volunteers for one-off opportunities is under development to provide Volunteer Referral Services, access the Corporate and Group Volunteering platform and event volunteer database.  

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Volunteer Conference for North Queensland Announced

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Volunteer Conference for North Queensland Announced

The recent announcement of a $50,000 State Government grant to help hold a North Queensland Volunteering Conference in Townsville next year has been received with excitement at Volunteering North Queensland (VNQ). As North Queensland’s leading Volunteer Referral and Community Training Centre, VNQ will coordinate the conference in conjunction with a committee of volunteers. In the main, it will be volunteers organising a volunteer conference for volunteers!

Shane Harris, Manager at Volunteering North Queensland, said “This conference has been a long-term goal of VNQ that has come to fruition largely through the persistent and dedicated volunteer efforts of our President, Margie Ryder.”

“Following the mammoth contribution of volunteers to their communities during this year’s unprecedented flooding events in Townsville and North West Queensland, we believe this conference is an important part of building resilience and avoiding volunteer burnout.  We are thankful the grant will enable us to bring together the grassroots volunteers from all over North and North West Queensland to connect, train, and rejuvenate their motivation to continue their vital volunteering support, without which our communities would suffer,” Shane said.

The conference will be held in Townsville over three days in May or June 2020 providing motivation, tools and support through inspiring speakers, training sessions and practical workshops.

Shane said “While it’s early days yet, we encourage everyone interested, whether they are currently volunteering or not, to sign up to receive updates as the program develops and guest speakers are announced at www.vnq.org.au/volunteer-conference.”

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Managing Volunteer Burnout and Stress

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Managing Volunteer Burnout and Stress

Volunteer burnout is something that both volunteers and volunteer managers dread.  For volunteers, it can be a feeling of overwhelming stress that causes resentment about volunteering. For managers, it can turn the most productive volunteer into an irritable and ineffective member of the team. It is important for the volunteer and organisations to understand, identify and help volunteers cope with the stress to prevent volunteer burnout.

Volunteering can be a stressful activity, with 35% of people in Australia’s not for profit sector experiencing stress (1). What makes volunteering stressful is not just the work itself, such as witnessing trauma or experiencing intense workloads, but how the workload adds to the day to day stresses of life. In rural Western Australia, two-thirds of people volunteering additionally have a business to run, farms to work or young families (2). Burnout can happen to anyone, so it is important for volunteers and managers to know the signs and what to do.

Burnout can be defined as a state of chronic stress. Stress is a natural response to the challenges we face (3). When stressed, our alertness, energy and productivity increases along with our heart rate, metabolism and breathing rate (3). Stress is helpful during short-term challenges however when experienced long term, it can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism, detachment and feelings of ineffectiveness.

These symptoms can easily be confused with depression. From a psychological perspective there is no clear definition of what burnout is and psychologists are likely to diagnose sufferers with something else such as depression or anxiety (5). This makes it difficult to collect data on the prevalence of burnout in society (5).

Although burnout is still an area of dispute in psychology, the fact that volunteers are vulnerable to it is not. Volunteers in rural communities where the social fabrics’ of community are made of the volunteer groups can be particularly susceptible to burnout (2). They are essential to the communities’ social, education, sporting, cultural and environmental groups and activities (2).  They can also be critical to the running of essential services. In small towns like Ongerup in Western Australia, the only health service is a volunteer run local ambulance (6). Without the volunteer ambulance service in the town, it would take an hour for an ambulance from the nearest town to come (6). Being the only health service in a town is a huge responsibility, especially for a volunteer.  

Being in a stressful volunteer role can be just one source of stress for volunteers but others could include poor management, conflict with other volunteers, competing demands such as work and family as well as role overload and even pressure from friends and family to volunteer (7). Role overload can also result from poor communication, unrealistic expectations of volunteers, failure to match volunteers’ skills to positions, ineffective role definitions and lack of boundaries. (7).

Role overload is one of the most quoted sources of stress. Role overload can be taking on too much responsibility or too many hours (7).  It can be caused as said above, by poor management, but also by volunteers deliberately going beyond the role description or volunteers not telling management they cannot meet the role’s demands (7). Role ambiguity can further lead to role overload as volunteers are unclear what their role is.

Competing demands can also be a significant cause of stress.  This stress is similar to role overload however the source of the increased work and stress comes external to the role (7). An example would be family illness, financial stress, or work commitments affect a person’s ability and availability to volunteer.

There are many ways to combat burnout and some of the best methods are organisational factors that volunteer managers can implement (7). One of the best ways to prevent burnout is early recognition and intervention (7). It is important that volunteer managers have time, as well as policy and procedures in place to monitor their volunteers and implement changes (7). Monitoring volunteers can include having a time sheet so it is known how many hours they contribute; this information can be used to observe volunteering milestones that they can be thanked for (8). Letting volunteers vary their hours, take time off or have ‘annual leave’ is also a great way to help volunteers’ recharge and cope with stress (8).

A prevention strategy that volunteer managers can utilise is providing adequate volunteer training and providing mentors for newer volunteers to reduce the stress experienced as a new volunteer (7). This strategy additionally ensures good succussion planning and can relieve excess workload in the role.  It is not just essential that volunteer managers are able to see the early signs of burnout, take action but also fosters the organisational culture of open communication with volunteers to talk about stress in and outside of the role (7). 

Knowing how to implement the theory of how to manage and prevent burnout can be a steep learning curve for volunteer managers but volunteer managers’ have great capacity to manage burnout when they have knowledge and strategies. Networking with other Volunteer Managers provides a great opportunity to both learn and share with others in similar situations. Check out https://www.vnq.org.au/training/ where you can find details of networking and training events for volunteer managers.

 

Sources:

1: https://thirdsector.com.au/how-to-manage-stress-and-burnout-in-the-nfp-sector/

2: https://theconversation.com/why-rural-australia-is-facing-a-volunteer-crisis-95937

3: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/stress

4: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/high-octane-women/201311/the-tell-tale-signs-burnout-do-you-have-them

5: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279286/

6: https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-12-07/regional-job-shortage-harming-peoples-health-education/9228762

7: Holmes, Kirsten, and Leonie Lockstone-Binney. “An exploratory study of volunteer stress management: the organisational story.” Third Sector Review, vol. 20, no. 1, 2014, p. 7+. Academic OneFile, https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A382085823/AONE?u=james_cook&sid=AONE&xid=5536ca14. Accessed 1 July 2019.

8: https://money.howstuffworks.com/economics/volunteer/information/volunteer-burnout.htm/printable

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Conservation Volunteers Australia

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Manager VNQ

Organisation Goals and Values

Conservation Volunteers is Australasia’s leading practical conservation organisation and can work with you to develop employee engagement opportunities to suit your organisation’s and employee’s needs. We have been working in the environment for over 35 years, connecting people to amazing places all over Australia and New Zealand. Your employees can get their hands dirty whilst helping the environment and learning new skills!
 
Independent studies show that meaningful, demonstrated corporate volunteering will not only increase participation but will also lead to employee engagement in general, including commitment and retention.
 
Our programs:
 
– help protect our environment, conserve important habitat for threatened species and reduce impacts of climate change.
– Engage employees in team building and encourage group cooperation
– Increase employees’ morale and support personal and skill development

Opportunity Types

  • Individual Volunteers
  • Volunteer Teams
  • Partnerships
  • Sponsorship

Opportunity Description

We provide a range of opportunities for working together including employee and group volunteering, event sponsorship, workplace giving, and partnership.
 
Because we know you are busy, we make it fun and easy for you to engage your organisation in making a positive difference. Your team can join us for a day out in the field. The day typically runs from around 7:00am to 12:00pm (excluding travel times) with a morning break. Activities may include pulling out weeds, planting native trees, and collecting marine debris at one of our bush protection sites.
 
You can also support us by sponsoring an event (e.g. a tree planting on World Environment Day or a beach clean up on World Oceans Day) or setting up workplace-giving in your organisation so that your employees can choose to donate to Conservation Volunteers to make a positive difference in the community and environment.
 
Our ability to involve volunteers in important environment projects is dependent on our partners who support us. This makes it essential for us to work together and we welcome conversations to explore opportunities to partner with you!

Skills

Conservation Volunteers’ strength is our ability to mobilise the community through well managed and effective programs. Our volunteers come from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences and give their time freely to help. Our expertise as an organisation in training and managing community volunteers turns their efforts into a major force for environmental good. We also contribute to the overall health and well-being of volunteers and people that participate in our programs.
 

Details

When:

Where:

Volunteer Capacity:

Requirements & Training:

Most Thursdays and Fridays from 7am to 12pm (excluding travel time)

Outdoors at a bush protection site in or around Townsville

Groups of up to 9. Individuals or small teams also welcome.

Volunteers will need to complete a volunteer registration form and receive an induction on the day.

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Sailability

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Manager VNQ

Organisation Goals and Values

Sailability Queensland facilitates sailing and boating through local Sailability Clubs in Queensland for the elderly, disabled or socially disadvantaged.
Sailability is about taking people with a disability onto the water – sailing or cruising in a safe environment in the hands of experienced skippers. We are part of a world-wide non-profit organization run entirely by volunteer members. Our goal is to give people with disabilities an opportunity to make their dreams a reality by achieving freedom through sailing.

Opportunity Types

  • Individual Volunteers

Opportunity Description

Land Support Crew

A Land Support Crew volunteer provides land/pontoon support for people with a disability who are learning how to sail.  As our service grows we need additional support to help get our disabled customers ready for sailing.

Tasks include:

  • Assist with fitting life jackets
  • Assist with administration
  • Assisting on the pontoon
  • Be willing to learn how to manage our hoist
  • Be willing to learn about two-way radio
  • Be willing to help with set-up and stand-down procedures – marques, first aid kits, life jackets etc.
  • Be willing to learn how to rigging and launch dinghies

Support Boat ‘Skipper’

Volunteer Support Boat Skippers ‘drive’ our support boat (Marine boat license required). Our support boat and crew monitors the activities of our sailing boats on the water and provided back up in case of difficulty or emergency.

No experience necessary, just a willingness to assist.

Skills

Knowledge of sailing is not required, just a can-do attitude about disability
and a common sense approach to safety.

Details

When:

Where:

Volunteer Capacity:

Requirements & Training:

4 hours on Monday to Friday mornings. 

South Townsville boat ramp

1-2 individuals on any given day

Onsite briefing and direction provided.  Marine boat license required for support boat skipper.

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Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare Inc.

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Manager VNQ

Organisation Goals and Values

Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare Inc. is a not-for-profit, community Landcare group, dedicated to conservation and revegetation activities in the Townsville region. CDTLI supports members of the local community who want to understand, protect and improve our unique and beautiful Dry Tropics environment. We offer opportunities for community members to help with our conservation efforts.

Opportunity Types

  • Individual Volunteers
  • Volunteer Teams
  • Sponsorship

Opportunity Description

  • Landcare site day events including tree planting, weed management for both individual and volunteer teams.
  • Plant nursery tours and hands-on skills for individuals and groups.
  • We are currently looking at sponsorship avenues to help fund our current and future Landcare sites.

Skills

Skills include plant and weed identification, weed removal techniques, site preparation for planting, tree planting and maintenance, plant nursery skills including propagation techniques and planting technical advice.

Details

When:

Where:

Volunteer Capacity:

Requirements & Training:

Other Info:

Groups of up to 15 (organised with Project Officer), Individuals can volunteer at any time on projects.

Outdoors at Landcare sites and in our native plant nursery.

Individuals, groups of up to 15

Quick induction to site and equipment. Bluecard required for nursery work.

All options all available for negoitation.

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NQ Cowboys Community Foundation

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Manager VNQ

Organisation Goals and Values

The Cowboys Community Foundation is a community-owned charity improving employment, health and social outcomes for young North Queenslanders through education-based programs. Established in 2015 by the NQ Cowboys, our Foundation brings together an impressive 20 years of community leadership, corporate social responsibility and successful community project delivery. The Foundation is built on an extensive track record of understanding and supporting the North Queensland community on the respect and trust in our club and it’s players, and on the power of the game and one brand that unites our region. The establishment of the Cowboys Community Foundation builds on the North Queensland Cowboys achievements in delivering true change-real and life-impacting improvements in education outcomes for those most disadvantaged or at risk in our North Queensland communities.
 
The Foundation has a strong social investment in programs that focus on these platforms for success in life: school attendance in the primary years; positive choices for life during the junior/secondary years and completing school in the senior secondary level. Across the secondary school years, the Cowboys Community Foundation has a particular focus on directly assisting one of our most vulnerable groups of students in Queensland. Some 50% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait students in remote North Queensland do not have access to secondary schooling locally or struggle to seek out-of-community options to complete their schooling-potentially locking them into a cycle of welfare dependence and unemployment.
 
With the support and assistance of the Australian and Queensland Governments and the National Rugby League (NRL), the Foundation’s NRL Cowboys House offers a unique, culturally-supported accommodation solution for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men and young women from remote northern and western Queensland to attend a choice of secondary schools in Townsville, whilst providing stability and support that the students need to be able to fulfil their potential whilst building long-lasting friendships and life skills along the way.
 
The Boys Campus officially opened in 2017 and is the home to 50 young indigenous men, whilst the Girls Campus opened it’s doors to young indigenous women in 2019.
 
VISION  Our “Vision” is to empower young people in North Queensland to build fully productive and fulfilling lives based on positive life choices and opportunities.
MISSION Our “Mission” is to maintain a tradition of excellence and innovation in facilitating positive social change through targeted education-focused programs and interventions.
VALUES  Respect and Integrity, Flexibility, teamwork and inclusiveness, Inspire and encourage, Committed to excellence, iniatives and accountability., Focused on prevention, Long-term thinking for long term sustainability, Partnerships that combine knowledge and resources to achieve a shared goal.

Opportunity Types

  • Individual Volunteers
  • Volunteer Teams

Opportunity Description

Volunteer Tutors
Assisting the young students with homework and studies on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 1600-1700.
  • Excluding school holidays and public holidays.
  • Volunteering is a totally flexible subject to Volunteers availability due to family, social and personal requirements and commitments.  (At the moment we desperately need additional Volunteer Tutors to join our current team of Volunteer Tutors)
50/50 Volunteer Ticket Sellers at each NQ Cowboys Home Games.
As a Volunteer Ticket Seller in the 50/50 Raffle Draw:
  • You will be supporting the Cowboys Community Foundation
  • Selling 50/50 Raffle tickets.
  • Interacting with the crowd.
  • Ticket sales from when the gates open until the start of the game and at half time. Volunteers will have the opportunity to view most of the game from their grandstand tickets.
  • Volunteers receive a 2x Eastern Grandstand Tickets, Car Park Pass, 50/50 Raffle Polo Shirt and/or apron to wear at the game, A fun-filled behind the scenes experience, Opportunity to win prizes on the day, Refreshments at the Cowboys HQ
  • The 50/50 Raffle ticket sales is a major fundraiser for the Cowboys Community Foundation each year.

Other opportunities that could be negotiated include:

  • Skills workshops that equip residents for employment
  • Preparing and participating in dinner with residents and informally chatting about life planning, goal setting and your industry
  • Hosting a workplace site tour to expose residents to workplaces
  • Entertainment activities for residents  

Details

When:

Where:

Volunteer Capacity:

Requirements & Training:

Other Info:

Tutoring – Cowboys House, Hugh St  //  50/50 Ticket Sellors – 1300 Smiles Stadium

Any number of Individual Volunteers, Corporate teams and Groups of volunteers

Volunteer Tutors require a Blue Card.

Description of requirements and training

All volunteering assistance is greatly appreciated by the Management and staff of the Cowboys Community Foundation and in particular by the young students at the Cowboys House.

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The Pyjama Foundation

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Manager VNQ

Organisation Goals and Values

The Pyjama Foundation was founded in 2004 to give children in foster care the opportunity to change the direction of their lives with learning, life skills, and confidence.
 
Alarmed at the statistics highlighting poor literacy and numeracy levels of children in care, and how this contributes to a lifetime of disadvantage, founder Bronwyn Sheehan made a decision – a decision to offer hope and a more positive outlook for these children.
 
Through a simple program known as the Love of Learning Program, volunteers called Pyjama Angels are matched with a child in care, and spend just one hour a week focusing on learning based activities. Pyjama Angels read books aloud, play educational games, and help children with their homework. In that time, they demonstrate that this child is valued and loved.
 

Opportunity Types

  • Individual Volunteers
  • Partnerships
  • Sponsorship

Opportunity Description

Pyjama Angels are volunteers from the community who are screened, trained and supported to create positive relationships with children in care; empowering them with learning, life skills and confidence.
 
Pyjama Angels implement the Love of Learning Program which is a learning-based mentoring program for children in care. Pyjama Angels visit a foster child in their home for up to an hour a week, assisting them with reading and writing, and providing consistent love and support.

Skills

  • Proficient with literacy and numeracy
  • Comfortable working with a child in the foster care system
 

Details

When:

Where:

Volunteer Capacity:

Requirements & Training:

1 hour per week for a period of 12 months minimum
 

within 30 minutes geographically from your home

Individual only

Bluecard, application form, interview and full day training
 

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Manager VNQ

Organisation Goals and Values

Description of the Organisations goals and values

Opportunity Types

  • Individual Volunteers
  • Volunteer Teams
  • In-kind Services
  • Partnerships
  • Sponsorship

Opportunity Description

Description of the opportunities 

Skills

Description of the skills on offer or required

Details

When:

Where:

Volunteer Capacity:

Requirements & Training:

Other Info:

Description of when

Description of where

Description of capacity

Description of requirements and training

Other info 

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