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Biala Special School invites volunteers to visit our school. We rely on their presence as ‘more hands make light work…’

A typical day for a volunteer at Biala Special School is to support the Teachers and Teachers Aides during the school day. You may work 1:1 with a student with their class work or in a small group. You may be required to help cut and paste activities or organise an activity. It may be cleaning up or any small job which needs doing.

It is essential that our volunteers enjoy working with children of all ages with intellectual and physical disabilities and are patient, calm and understanding of their needs. We do not require any previous experiences and you will not be involved in any feeding, toileting, lifting or unsupervised activities with children. It is also essential that everyone who spends time at our school will have a Working with Children Check and a current Police Check completed and verified.

The reciprocal nature of volunteering suggests that while we delegate work to volunteers, we also need to consider what support they require to complete and enjoy the work they undertake. Effective support encourages a partnership approach where volunteers feel an integral part of the organisation rather than simply resources to be used by the organisation. A good support system is reflective of clear and established rights and responsibilities of volunteers. This includes:

  • Accessibility- volunteers must be able to access support and feel there is an open-door policy.
  • Flexibility- organisations should accommodate the differing needs of volunteers and be flexible in their expectations, while volunteers need to be flexible in their roles.
  • Appropriateness- support strategies should be applicable to the work that volunteers are undertaking and to their motivation.
  • Shared responsibility- it is important that supporting volunteers is seen as everyone’s role within an organisation.

Biala Special School aims to maintaining our volunteers through recognition, appreciation and gratitude. All volunteers need to feel welcome, appreciated and valued.

Volunteers need to feel safe and supported in the workplace and that their opinions matter and are valued. That even though they are not paid, they can still make a difference to the organisation.

What is the volunteer’s motivation? What goals do they want to achieve by working with us? How can we help them achieve these goals while mutually benefitting us?

Websites of interest:

www.nortec.org.au/community-solutions/volunteering/

http://www.byroncentre.com.au/

www.morevolunteers.com

www.volunteering.org.au

Our main aim is that volunteers enjoy spending time at Biala and working with our students and staff. If you want to volunteer at Biala Special School these are some key questions to ask yourself:

  • Why do they want to volunteer here? What’s your motivation?
  • What do you like to do? What do you not want to do? What do you want out of this experience?
  • What are the things you would like to do or learn?
  • Any special needs or requirements?

All volunteers need clear expectations on their role and job descriptions. It is important that all volunteers have read and discussed the school’s Casual Staff and Volunteers Manual and completed the induction.

If you are interested in volunteering at Biala Special School, please contact Biala’s Volunteer Co-ordinator on (02) 6686 4763 or the school Principal on (02) 6686 3395 during school hours.