Volunteer training program Q&A

Group of people watching a presentation about Very Special Kids' volunteer training program.

Volunteering has been the heart of Very Special Kids since 1985.

We endeavour to equip every volunteer with a confident understanding of Very Special Kids and the work we do to support children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families.

Brunette women smiling at camera with leaves in  background
Very Special Kids volunteer, Michelle

All newly recruited volunteers have the opportunity to scale up their training via our three-module program. We recently spoke with Very Special Kids volunteer, Michelle, to hear about her experience at our volunteer training day.

What motivated you to volunteer at Very Special Kids?

When I came across Very Special Kids and read about all the great work that they do, it seemed a perfect fit for me. It was also familiar to me as one of my neighbours had already been volunteering here for quite some time. I am really happy to have found Very Special Kids and can’t wait for my journey to begin!

Do you feel that the training program has been comprehensive and prepared you for your volunteer role?

Absolutely. Training consisted of three well thought out and delivered modules. The first two modules were conducted in-house on a Saturday, which was great because it allowed you to meet and work with the other volunteers in-person.

The training began with a broad overview of Very Special Kids and then took a deep dive into the different service delivery programs, including respite and therapeutic programs. I thought the training was excellent and I feel as prepared for volunteering as I possibly could be…I personally got a lot of insight and value out of all the guest speakers (staff, current and past volunteers, as well as Very Special Kids parents)…Thank you to all the trainers.

Was the volunteer training program what you expected?

The volunteer training program far exceeded my expectations. I have/do volunteer at other organisations where training consists of a 9 to 1pm Saturday training session, along with a manual and a ‘good luck’ as you walk out the door. Other training, I have completed has been entirely online with no manual to refer to. Very Special Kid’s training was informative and engaging and really sets the bar for other organisations.

Following the volunteer training, what area/s of volunteering at Very Special Kids interests you? What are you most excited for?

This is a hard question to answer because I feel like I want to volunteer in so many areas. To start with I have put up my hand to volunteer in the hospice and to balance that out to volunteer with the therapy dog (that’s my excuse anyway!) I am also very interested in the sibling programs, adolescent programs, family camps and days and the bereaved parent weekend. Longer term I may look into the home volunteer program. I am most excited just to get started!

There is quite a versatile range of volunteer roles at Very Special Kids. What does having flexibility in the ways you can support mean to you?

The range of different volunteer roles and the ability to move in and out of them or to perform multiple volunteer roles at times that fit into your life makes volunteering with Very Special Kids very easy and attractive. I have never come across this before. Most other organisations tell you when you can volunteer, not the other way around. Personally, I like the idea of being able to volunteer as much as my time permits.

Who would you recommend the Very Special Kids volunteer training program to and why?

Anyone with a genuine desire to help children and families in need. Young, old and everyone in between. There are so many different ways you can become involved and make a difference and they don’t all require a weekly commitment.

Very Special Kids will be holding a volunteer information session at 6.30pm on Thursday 24 August. To learn more click here.