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17 November 2021

weVolunteer Pilot Evaluation report

Volunteering Victoria was funded by the Victorian Government in August 2020 to deliver a new initiative to help Victoria recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Designed to connect local community organisations with credentialed volunteers, the initial funding for weVolunteer was short-term to 30 June 2021. With a further 12 months of funding since confirmed, an extensive review of the project’s pilot phase has been completed to help guide its continued growth and development.

During the evaluation process, Volunteering Victoria identified a number of challenges and future opportunities for the improvement of weVolunteer and its impact on communities needing volunteer assistance on their recovery journeys. These are canvassed in the Pilot Evaluation report as a way to inform future policy and program decisions.

weVolunteer is growing to be a useful program for helping to source volunteers, providing surge capacity of volunteers, preparing volunteers and organisations for community recovery and facilitating better place-based responses to community need. Victorian Government support of weVolunteer has been essential, and welcome, and will continue to be as we work collectively to build resilient communities across the state.

A summary copy of the report can be accessed below.

View report summary

20 October 2021

weVolunteer and spontaneous volunteering: A key resource for the emergency management sector

Phase 2 of the Inquiry into the 2019-20 Victorian fire season was published last week. This extensive report explores the progress and effectiveness of Victoria’s immediate relief and recovery arrangements.

The report highlights the role of volunteering in improving recovery management and outcomes. While for many affected communities, the recovery is still ongoing 18 months later, the Inspector-General for Emergency Management emphasises how formal and informal volunteering represented a vital resource throughout the relief and recovery phases. The report goes further by inviting the emergency management sector to deliberately consider how it can maximise the contribution of spontaneous volunteering in the future.

For Volunteering Victoria, weVolunteer – an initiative designed to bring together volunteers and local community organisations to help communities through the recovery phase– represents a powerful tool allowing to mobilise  this largely untapped resource and enable government and local agencies to harness the strength  of spontaneous volunteering.

“Meaningful and safe volunteering must align with the demand for volunteers, driven by the needs of the affected communities. weVolunteer ensures organisations have the required capabilities, structures and legal protections in place to effectively manage volunteers during the recovery phase,” says Scott Miller, Chief Executive of Volunteering Victoria.

The weVolunteer pool continues to grow each day across both metropolitan and regional areas, with over 2,400 volunteers currently registered. This demonstrates much of what we have come to know about the Victorian community; there is no shortage of good-will during times of crisis and emergency. Further funding and support for weVolunteer would only see this number grow.

“As we begin to recover from the effects of the pandemic, now is a critical time to focus on revitalising the volunteering sector and supporting weVolunteer as a resource to enhance recovery efforts,” adds Miller.

The weVolunteer platform can play a central role in times of need. For this to become a reality, the government needs to allocate long-term funding to guarantee the viability of the platform and maximise the positive impact of emergency volunteering across the state. Volunteering Victoria stands ready to work with the Victorian government to ensure volunteers can help communities recover when they need it the most.

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23 June 2021

Victoria emergency update

It’s been a challenging few months for Victorians. Our thoughts are with the people and communities who have been impacted by recent events, including the snap lockdown and major flooding across parts of the state.

If there’s one thing we know, it’s that there is no shortage of good-will during times of crisis and emergency. weVolunteer harnesses that energy by providing a coordinated, safe and accessible platform for managing community responses to disaster. By registering your location, availability and skills in advance, weVolunteer can help connect you with convenient and appropriate opportunities to support your local community through its recovery.

Although it’s understandable to want to get involved right away, it’s important to be patient. Often the needs of affected communities may not be known right away or may change over time. While offers of assistance tend to surge during the initial onset of a crisis, the long-term nature of disaster recovery means help is actually most needed in the weeks, months or even years that follow.

So what can you do now?
Be patient and be prepared. By registering with weVolunteer, you are putting yourself in the best position to help. Create your Volunteer Passport and upload your details, including any skills and qualifications, so you’re ready to go when you are most needed. We are currently in the process of assessing the needs of community organisations in affected areas, and are grateful to have a dedicated pool of volunteers to call upon when opportunities arise.

21 May 2021

weVolunteer extended!

Exciting news – weVolunteer is here to stay!
We know how much you love to volunteer and help your community when times are tough, so we’re thrilled to announce the program has been extended with further funding from the Victorian State Government.
Community recovery can continue for many months, even years after a crisis or emergency. And volunteers are the heart of those recovery efforts – which is why this funding is so important. weVolunteer is here to connect you with important causes in your local area, so you can help your community get back on its feet.

19 May 2021

National Volunteer Week

It wouldn’t be National Volunteer Week without acknowledging the incredible contributions of community recovery volunteers across Victoria over the past year. Last Wednesday we were proud to host a special morning tea at the State Library, in recognition of our weVolunteer pool.

Volunteers were joined by a series of special guests including Mr Anthony Carbines MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Carers and Volunteers, who officially launched the 2021 training package.

Volunteers were also treated to a training session with Harry Morton from the MyPass Team, who provided some tips and tricks for getting the most out of the Volunteer Passport.

Thank you to all those who came along to join us on the day. It was a pleasure to meet some of the wonderful people behind the Passports and hear first-hand of your passion and dedication to supporting your local community in times of need.