WCC Annual Report - Page 22

Client Services Report INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER DAY In partnership with the Office of Harry Jenkins MP, a morning tea was held to celebrate International Volunteer Day in December 2011. The event brought together more than 130 volunteers from the Whittlesea area to enjoy the presentation of the 2011 National Volunteers Awards presented by Harry Jenkins MP. All nominated volunteers were acknowledged for the enormous contribution they have made to the community. WHITTLESEA VOLUNTEER RESOURCE SERVICE The Whittlesea Volunteer Resource Service continues to provide support and assistance to people wishing to volunteer in the city of Whittlesea or further afield. The service has grown and expanded significantly over the last 12 months. The number of client queries and referrals has trebled over the past 12 months. The service has also continued to develop strong professional networks and now works closely with more than 40 local organisations to provide a range of different volunteer roles to the community. VOLUNTEER INFORMATION, REFERRAL AND SUPPORT In the 2011-12 financial year, the service provided assistance on 1, 369 occasions including provision of information, referral and follow-up support. Many community members continue to access volunteering as a pathway to employment and almost half of the clients assisted over the last 12 months see volunteering as a pathway to gain work experience, improve English skills and build up confidence to prepare for the workforce. The WVRS has spent much of our time advocating for increased diversity in volunteer roles across the community, with a particular focus on roles for people with complex needs including disability and mental illness with very positive outcomes. VOLUNTEER TRAINING This year the WVRS provided non accredited and accredited training to more than 276 local volunteers and our monthly introduction to volunteering sessions continue to increase in attendance. The WVRS was also dedicated to providing outreach services to deliver information sessions and promote volunteering in educational institutions including local secondary schools and tertiary organisations such as NMIT and to community groups. Training sessions were well attended across the year with the delivery of first aid training, food handling and food safety, working with people with disabilities and emergency response training. 21