Emerge Stronger – Volunteering
In times of crisis, communities come together.
For many, COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has created new or deeper hardship. By supporting others who need help, the community will get through this together with compassion and understanding.
Many of the usual volunteers who are the backbone to the local volunteering effort are older adults who have had to withdraw their volunteering commitments at this time, being a vulnerable age group to COVID-19.
There are a number of volunteer groups that are looking for new volunteers to assist and lend a hand during these challenging times. Although the City of Joondalup does not need volunteers directly, it hopes to be able to connect you with a meaningful volunteer opportunity or suggest ways that you can help others.
Joondalup Volunteer Resource Centre (JVRC)
The JVRC is located inside Whitford Library and specialises in connecting community members with their perfect volunteer role, by matching skills, interest and availability with vacant volunteer roles.
Currently most organisations are looking for volunteers with the below skills or qualifications:
- Working with children and welfare support skills
- Household maintenance
- Pick up/drop off supplies including medication and groceries
Healthcare workers across the globe are working tirelessly to keep our community safe. The Facebook group Adopt a HealthCare Worker, is dedicated to matching health care workers and community members to assist in tasks such as grocery shopping, cleaning, coffee runs and a whole range of services and activities. For further information visit their Facebook Group.
There are a number of other volunteering organisations who need your support:
- People Who Care – offers volunteering roles across the Perth metropolitan area with flexible schedules to suit every lifestyle. Volunteer roles are dynamic and in these times of emergency People Who Care are seeking additional help. For further information call 9379 1944.
- Befriend – is a social enterprise sparking inclusive, connected communities. With the new rules that limit social gatherings, Befriend is launching new online initiatives needing volunteers and participants to encourage social connection where the community can grow stronger together.
- Foodbank – as demand for food relief increases, volunteers remain vital to the success of the program. There are two ways you can help:
- Become a volunteer, by helping sort groceries, pack hampers and pick orders to ensure charity partners receive the food they need; or
- Donate food as part of food drives. Foodbank has established new food drop-off measures to ensure social distancing measures can be followed. For further information call 9258 9277.
- Feed the frontline – a Moveable Feast catering is on a mission to help health workers by supplying nutritious, ready to go meals delivered to hospitals. Jump online, add to cart and the health care workers will be very grateful. For further information call 9279 9225.
- Seek – the Seek website can be used to search for volunteering opportunities by type of work, location and availability. Organisations post volunteer positions that are available.
- Go Volunteering – has a website you can use to search for volunteering opportunities by type of work, location and availability. Organisations post volunteer positions that are available.
- Advocare – Pen Pal project is a wonderful excuse to put pen to paper or finger to keyboard. With visits in person no longer possible due to physical distancing laws, this program connects volunteers with vulnerable people and provides them with companionship through word. For further information or to join Advocare visit their website or call 9479 7566, and help brighten someone’s day.
Whilst volunteering is an essential part of the community during times of crisis, it is important to check in on friends and family too.
It may seem obvious, but with the current physical distancing in place for the safety of the community, it is important to check in with your nearest and dearest. A regular phone call, a text message, video call or using social media can be all it takes. Pick your favourite communication platform and extend your social network online.
If you need help using online communication channels, call the City’s Emerge Stronger Digital Helpline on 9400 4180.
Communities grow stronger through times of crisis, so it is important to check in on not just your friends and family but your neighbours as well.
Ensuring you follow the physical distancing in place, there are a number of ways you can connect with your neighbours:
- If you haven’t done so, introduce yourself to your neighbours by exchanging contact details at a safe distance
- Stay in touch with vulnerable neighbours and arrange a code or signalling system, for example, you could place a vase in the window to signal “I’m okay” or place book in the window to signal “I’m not okay and need help”
- Try a personal mail drop to your immediate neighbour
Join a neighbourhood Facebook group
There are lots of community-led or neighbourhood Facebook groups already in place. Many of these groups are putting out calls for assistance to local neighbours. If you wish to join a community or neighbourhood Facebook group just type in the name of your suburb and the word “community” or “neighbourhood” and you will find the groups in your area.
Other searches you can do are “pay it forward”, “support”, “connect”, “donate”, “buy/swap/sell” as these groups are all connecting people in need to volunteers.
Throughout neighbourhoods everywhere there is an incredible sense of community.
There are a number of fun ways households are working together to create a sense of community despite the physical distancing in place globally. Help bring a smile to your neighbours by:
- Putting lights out the front of your house for your neighbours to enjoy at night.
- Join the global bear hunt by placing a teddy in your window
- Join the rainbow movement and promote messages of encouragement by drawing rainbows and placing them in your window, or drawing a rainbow on your driveway with chalk.