National NDIS Grant Gives Nod to Disability Volunteering
25 July 2017 at 4:29 pm
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has funded a national project to encourage and support people with disability to volunteer and to attract more community members to volunteer in the disability sector.
Not-for-profit organisation Interchange Incorporated, on behalf of its 12 member agencies, has secured grant funding to implement the national volunteer awareness and recruitment campaign.
The Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) funding was awarded by the NDIS to organisations to carry out community inclusion and awareness activities that improved outcomes for people with a disability.
Interchange Incorporated’s marketing officer Faye Lougheed said the organisation had assembled a governance committee comprising representatives from six of the 12 Interchange consortium members to oversee the national planning, implementation and evaluation of the project.
“We have been given $180,000 to carry out the project over the next twelve months,” Lougheed told Pro Bono News.
“This project will increase community awareness of the Interchange culture, the priceless value of volunteers on many Interchange programs and throughout the disability sector, and the need to continue to support a national culture of volunteering into the future.
“The purpose of the project is twofold; to encourage and support people with disability to volunteer within the sector, and to attract more community members to volunteer in the disability sector.
“To begin the project, a national awareness campaign will highlight the benefits of volunteering for all and that volunteering is for everyone – including people with a disability.
“It will aim to break down barriers and educate the community on the essential contribution that volunteers make within the sector as well as the unique value proposition that volunteers with a disability bring – not only to their peers but to the wider community.”
Lougheed said the key message of the awareness campaign would be that everyone within the community had something to contribute and could contribute in a meaningful way if given the opportunity and the support to do so.
“The second phase of the project will focus on the recruitment, induction and training processes for Interchange volunteers to ensure everyone with an interest in volunteering feels connected, valued and supported,” she said.
“The committee will work hard over the next 12 months to develop and implement a process that achieves a balance between engaging and retaining volunteers in a competitive market while ensuring all volunteers receive the necessary training and support to fulfil their role and, most importantly, enjoy their role as a volunteer.
“An accredited online training package will complement each agency’s current induction and training process and will allow all members of the Interchange consortium to tailor each process to suit their varied and unique needs.”
Lougheed said the committee would evaluate the effectiveness of all stages in the project.
“The national awareness campaign, and volunteer recruitment, induction and training processes will be evaluated to ascertain the overall satisfaction of all stakeholders around the importance and value of volunteers as well as the effectiveness of training and induction in recruiting and retaining quality volunteers,” she said.
“This information will be reported back to the NDIS, in accordance with the ILC readiness grant guidelines, in mid-2018. The committee hopes to demonstrate the ongoing importance of volunteering as well as the sustained belief within the community that volunteering is a valuable and effective undertaking that should be supported from the highest levels.”
The Interchange ILC Project governance committee is made up of the following representatives:
Rosanna Spanio – Interchange Incorporated (Project Coordinator)
Kerry Uren – Interchange Incorporated
Faye Lougheed – Interchange Outer East
Paul Howard – Interchange Gippsland
Kate Harding – Interchange Inner East
Jake Pearson & Glenda Pearce – Interchange Illawarra
Charlene Pereira – MOIRA Disability & Youth Services
Carol Fogg – Gateways Support Services
To contact the Interchange ILC Project governance committee, email firstname.lastname@example.org.