Celebrating our Volunteers

Burdekin youth support services

Our Volunteer Program was launched in 2020 during National Volunteer Week and every year since, we celebrate our volunteers and their contribution to the organisation with a nice meal, warm words and certificates of appreciation. Check out the photos below, it could be you next year if you want to become part of our Burdekin family.

We have all been inspired by our Burdekin volunteers this week. Our regular volunteers act as role models and mentors to a young person. They turn up consistently for two hours each week to do an agreed activity e.g. cooking a meal, L driving hours or education support. We also celebrated with our very special volunteers, our Foster Carers ,who have been thoroughly assessed and authorised as Burdekin Foster Carers and have given a young person a caring, nurturing home.

One of our foster carers shared:

“I have always wanted to foster a teenager but just this year, the time has become right to do it. Even though it’s been challenging at times, it is so worthwhile to provide a safe home where she has been able to relax and feel she belongs.”

We are so grateful for people in our community who step out of their comfort zone and choose to connect with a young person who needs trusted adult role models in their life.

We need more volunteers in South East and Inner West Sydney, to inquire, please email us at: volunteer@burdekin.org.au.

Volunteer Week and 3 Years of our Volunteer Program

Volunteer with young people

Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering and will be held on 15 – 21 May 2023. The week also means the Burdekin Volunteer Program turns three!

This year the theme for Volunteers Week is The Change Makers. The week recognises the vital support that millions of volunteers provide to their communities and encourages people to consider volunteering.

The value of volunteerism within Burdekin

In the three years, since we launched the Burdekin Volunteer Program, our volunteers have added a considerable contribution to our organisation. Infact, in our 2021/22 financial report, we measured the cost benefit and estimated total savings during this financial year up of $45,000, a monthly saving of about $3,700.

But of course it’s about much more than the economic benefits. Volunteerism builds healthier, more resilient communities. The practical support provided by our volunteers often fills a gap that otherwise might not be fulfilled. Not to mention the beautiful relationships that develop between our young people and volunteers.

It’s a win win

Volunteering is bidirectional because everyone gains, whether a volunteer is helping a young person with education support, practising a skill like cooking or just going for a walk or coffee together and keeping each other company. Volunteers feel great satisfaction in making a difference and young people give something back in their own way too.

Do you live in Inner West or Southeast Sydney?

Our Volunteer Program in the Northern Beaches is pretty robust, in the Inner West and Southeast Sydney areas we need more volunteers – particularly volunteers who would be prepared to do L driving supervision hours with a young person. If L driving isn’t your thing, there are other volunteer mentoring activities available. See what else our volunteers are doing here and here.

Have you got two hours per week?

Many of our young people aged 16 or 17 want to get their Ls but they don’t have a trusted adult in their life who could drive the required hours with them. Burdekin can provide the car. In return, we seek good confident drivers who have about 2 hours each week to support a young person. All young people will have had at least 5 professional lessons before being matched with a volunteer.

Supporting a young person with L driving supervision is such a fantastic way to connect with them and to provide the opportunity to get their licence. Don’t we all remember what a fantastic feeling it is to finally get ones licence!!!

Is volunteering for you? We would love to hear from you! Please either email: volunteer@burdekin.org.au or complete the form below. Read up on all of our other volunteer related posts by typing volunteer into our search bar.

To celebrate Volunteer Week, we host our volunteers at an annual event during volunteer week, where they will be presented with certificates of appreciation. More on this soon!

Celebrate our Volunteers with us

We recently celebrated National Volunteers Week as well as the second anniversary of the Burdekin Volunteer Program so, we saw this as a perfect time to celebrate our volunteers and all they do for our young people with an appreciation dinner. Of course we appreciate our volunteers every day of the week.

Just like our dinner last year, our volunteers received certificates of appreciation for their extraordinary contribution during the challenging times over the past two years as we navigated working with Covid-19. We acknowledged particularly the huge impact a trusted adult can have on the life of a young person, especially one who has experienced childhood trauma.

It really has been a time like no other and we thank each and every volunteer!

We have recently just completed another round of volunteer training and cannot wait to welcome new recruits into the team. We are currently in the process of “matching” some of our volunteer recruits with clients. We take this process seriously, looking at the skills, interests and availability of the volunteer and thinking through who might be the most suitable young person and whether they’re ready for a new adult in their lives. Many of our young people have lost trust in adults so it’s important that they are in a good place to be ready and willing to meet with a volunteer mentor. When the match works well, it is brilliant and over time, a very strong bond can develop. As one of our young clients said, “it’s so good that there’s someone who wants to meet with me who isn’t paid to meet with me.”

In the meantime, if you would like to know more about volunteering we have lots of information on our website, you might like to start here and then search volunteer. Please get in touch if you are interested and we will let you know once the dates for the next sessions have been confirmed – we love hearing from you. If you have any questions, please email: volunteer@burdekin.org.au.

Our Burdekin Volunteer Program turns two!

We are holding Volunteer Training Dates in May

It is two years since we started a Volunteer Program back in May 2020 during National Volunteers Week. Since then, we have gone on to recruit wonderful volunteers doing amazing things for us and our young people. Or maybe the volunteers recruited us because it is definitely a win-win relationship.

Read more about what our current volunteers are doing here.

To celebrate our 2nd birthday we are launching our next volunteer recruitment drive with training scheduled for:

Thursday 19th May from 6.30pm to 8.30pm and one further day the following week to be confirmed depending on time availability of volunteers, also held via zoom – both training dates are compulsory to become a Burdekin Volunteer.

If you love young people and have between 2 and 4 hours to donate per week this might be for you! Make a difference to the lives of young people and your community. Above all you will also meet new people, gain new skills and enhance your own wellbeing.

Volunteering your time, skills, and resources is one of the most powerful ways to make a difference, to help others, and as it turns out, to enhance your wellbeing.

National Volunteer Week (NVW) is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering and will be held on 16 – 22 May 2022. This year’s theme is Better Together. Volunteering brings people together; it builds communities and creates a better society for everyone. Will you join us? You won’t regret it!

To register for this course, please complete an Expression of Interest form or email: volunteer@burdekin.org.au.

More on volunteering with Burdekin:

Volunteer with Burdekin, Skilled Volunteers and Current Vacancies.

Vital Volunteers

What do volunteers do

Volunteers are everyday people who give a little bit of their time to a cause that resonates with their personal values and they are worth their weight in gold!

Our Volunteers add so much to the lives of the young people here at Burdekin.

It doesn’t suit everybody to become a foster carer and volunteering might be a great alternative. Volunteers provide weekly connections to the lives of young people, many of whom have not experienced relationships with trusted adults in their lives.

Some of our valiant volunteers:

  • Volunteer Audrey visits one of our houses weekly and assists the carer by cooking the evening meal for the 3 young teens who live there. The kids often join in and the carer appreciates the adult company. We call Audrey a “house angel”.
  • Volunteers Tom and Issy are assisting two of our young people to get their drivers licence by helping them gain the 120 supervised Learner hours.
  • Volunteer Anna is helping a 17 year old who is studying to become a hairdresser.
  • Hugh is helping a young man to improve his English.
  • Sarah is providing valuable help in the office, doing an important task that takes time.
  • Georgie plays sport after school with one young girl.
  • Monique takes a young person out each Sunday and they discuss art and music.

We recognise the huge value a volunteer who is choosing to give up their time to be with a young person contributes. One young person said recently: “You mean she’s not paid to be with me? That’s cool.”

Whilst many individuals volunteer to give something back to their community, most volunteers find that they experience a number of benefits too. Volunteering has been proven to have benefits to both physical and mental health – it’s a win win!

I’m ready to volunteer – what’s next?

Read more about what it is like to become a volunteer with Burdekin and fill out an expression of interest. You might also like to read about our volunteer team and what sort of help we are looking for. We will also be running our next volunteer recruitment drive including training dates in May this year – watch this space.

We have also teamed up with Mentoring Men who provide free long-term one-to-one life mentoring programs for men Australia wide. Our partnership aims to engage male volunteers into our Volunteer Program for our young people.

We acknowledge the Aboriginal people of the Cadigal and Gayamaygal Clans. We acknowledge the Country on which we live, work, and gather as being Aboriginal land.

We acknowledge the lands, waterways and skies that are connected to Aboriginal people. We honour them and pay our deepest respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

We respect their rightful place within our communities, and we value their ancient cultural knowledge and practices.

Aboriginal Flag
Torres Straight Island Flag

We deeply respect that this will always be Aboriginal land and we will honour and follow the first peoples’ values in caring for the Country and for preserving their culture.

We deeply value that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the oldest living culture in the world and we will continue to work with their peoples and communities to ensure their cultures endure and remain strong.