How to grow a volunteer base

DEDICATED: Volunteer Tennille Campbell and co-ordinator Katrina Hughes at Orana.
DEDICATED: Volunteer Tennille Campbell and co-ordinator Katrina Hughes at Orana. Tobi Loftus

ORANA'S volunteer co-ordinator, Katrina Hughes, has a simple way of attracting volunteers to the aged care facility.

"I just put myself out there, say this is who I am and this is what I'm trying to do, come along and give it a chance,” Ms Hughes said.

"I'm door knocking, constantly thinking what is it I need to do, sending out emails to people.

"I'm on social media, I'm watching the job sites. I'm a person that does things outside the box.”

This strategy, which has defied the regional trend of groups finding it difficult to secure volunteers, has resulted in Orana gaining seven new permanent volunteers, though Ms Hughes has only been in her role for seven weeks.

Ms Hughes said she would still like to have more volunteers at the aged care complex.

"We already had some volunteers who have been coming for years before I took on the role, retired people wanting to give back to the community,” she said.

"I can't say it's been a real struggle because I threw out a few emails to a few different organisations saying this is what I'm looking for. I've been lucky that I've had a stable intake of volunteers, but I want to keep growing that.”

Ms Hughes said volunteering in an aged care facility like Orana was rewarding for both volunteers and residents.

"We'd love to pair our volunteers with specific residents, for instance some residents just love to read the newspaper, though they physically can't,” she said.

"So I need to find someone who loves to read the newspaper and can read it to the resident. That way the resident is getting the most out of the volunteer and the volunteer is getting the most out of the resident. Then that relationship, friendship and mateship can form.”

Topics:  kingaroy orana south burnett

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