The passport to Victoria’s community recovery
30 March 2021 at 7:00 am
Particularly in the wake of a pandemic, volunteering is key to community resilience and recovery. With a Volunteer Passport via weVolunteer, it’s easier than ever to make a difference and support the causes and communities you care about.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of local communities. When times are tough, people want to help their neighbours. When disaster strikes, local knowledge is key to recovery.
But like most, the volunteering sector was hit hard by the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the urgent need for community support, up to 70 per cent of volunteers found themselves unable to continue their volunteering roles due to program changes or personal circumstances.
More than ever, this highlighted the need for a central platform for connecting community organisations with a pool of eager volunteers, ready to help in times of need.
With this in mind, Volunteering Victoria, with funding from the Victorian government, launched weVolunteer in August 2020 as a coordinated, safe and accessible effort to support local communities doing it tough. The state-wide initiative is designed to facilitate rapid community response – making it easier to connect skilled volunteers with volunteer involving organisations requiring vital support.
The key feature of weVolunteer is the Volunteer Passport, powered by project partner MyPass and the first volunteer credentialing system of its kind in Australia. It provides a direct link between prospective volunteers and volunteer involving organisations seeking support. Those looking for volunteer roles simply register their skills and experience through the online platform and then they can be contacted when a suitable opportunity becomes available. This pool of Community Recovery Volunteers is motivated to respond quickly to urgent community need across all regions of Victoria.
So what are some other benefits compared to other volunteer recruitment platforms?
Build your own volunteering record
Like your regular passport, the Volunteer Passport is portable and travels with you, acting as your gateway to volunteering opportunities that support communities in need. The best part? It is free to register, including having your certificates and qualifications credentialed. Different roles will have different requirements, depending on the tasks involved. Whether it’s a Working With Children’s Check or First Aid certificate, all your relevant documentation can be uploaded and verified online, at no cost to you. Plus, you will even be prompted when your credentials are due to expire, so you will never be caught off-guard with out-of-date documents.
Avoid extra admin
Once set up, your Volunteer Passport is available whenever you need it. With all your credentials housed in one digital platform, you can easily share your information with organisations at any time. No long, complicated forms. No digging around for copies of your certificates or identity documents. Because as a volunteer, your time is far too valuable for that. Simply upload everything once, then your passport is ready to go for any organisations you choose to engage with in the future.
You’re in control
The Volunteer Passport belongs to you. You choose which organisations have access to your information, the opportunities you would like to be involved in, and when you are available. Privacy and data security is also a top priority – the myPass technology keeps your personal information secure and is confidential until you choose to share it. It’s all designed to give you complete control over your volunteer experience.
Creating your Volunteer Passport
If you are over 18 years old and live in Victoria, you can create your Volunteer Passport in three easy steps:
- Head to weVolunteer.org.au to start your registration.
- Follow the prompts to create your MyPass login.
- Add your details to your profile – CV, certificates, skills and qualifications – anything that may be relevant for future volunteering.
It’s that simple. Once your details are verified, you’ll get a tick of approval and be ready to volunteer right away.
When a health or natural disaster strikes, volunteers continue to be needed well after the initial impacts of the emergency. With growing hope that Australia is through the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, now is the time when support for community recovery is most essential. While vaccine rollouts are providing greater confidence in soon returning to a “COVID-normal world”, the economic and societal impacts will undoubtedly be felt for months, or even years to come.
In times like these, volunteers are a particularly invaluable resource for community resilience. They provide the ability to rapidly respond, support and rebuild communities at the local level following a disaster, while also improving community participation and connectedness. And thankfully, the events of the past year have shown that goodwill is in no short supply. Through weVolunteer, we want to harness that energy and direct it to where it is needed most. By joining a pool of skilled volunteers, you can play an active role in helping your community in times of need.
To find out more about weVolunteer and to create your own Volunteer Passport, please visit wevolunteer.org.au
To preview the Volunteer Passport, click here.