Orana Early Support Resources including Volunteer Information and Our People.
Orana Early Support endorses the Statement of Principles for the Recognition of Volunteer Rights and upholds these principles of care, respect and dignity for all our people. We demonstrate a commitment to best practice in volunteer management. We are proud winners of the South Sydney Volunteer Team of the Year Award 2011 which was presented by the Hon Victor Dominello MP, Minister for Citizenship and Communities for the Centre for Volunteering. Our volunteers are provided with training and professional development and our organisation recognises and celebrates the contribution of volunteers.
Our volunteers are required to complete a one day training course, which includes all aspects of home visitation, as well as reviewing issues such as child development, postnatal depression, effective communication and cultural diversity. Additional courses such as first aid and occupational health and safety training are accessed through the local Volunteer Link office. Ongoing in-service training is offered periodically and explores a range of issues including mental health, sudden infant death syndrome, sleep and settling issues and behaviour management for toddlers.
Some recent volunteer quotes from training sessions:
“The training was very professional and thorough but presented in an informal, relaxed fashion.”
“I feel I have learned so much and want to help. What stands out in my mind is how many young mothers need help and what a wonderful support Orana Early Support is.”
“I found the training informative and friendly. I’m impressed by the compassion and devotion given to clients through the volunteers and coordinators. It made me realise how important this service is to the community and that through my training I can make a difference in the lives of families requiring the service.”
All volunteers are screened through interviews, reference checks, Working with Children and Police checks. The Coordinators select volunteers who have experience with children and the right personal attributes of being reliable and trusted home visitors. Volunteers must be over 21 years of age.
Volunteers – Ordinary people; extraordinary contribution.
Volunteering together is a positive way of combating the time pressures of modern living and strengthening family and community spirit at the same time.
- Is based on personal motivation and choices, freely undertaken.
- Is a way of furthering active citizenship and community involvement.
- Enhances human potential and the quality of daily life, building up human solidarity.
- Provides answers for the great challenges of our time, striving for a better and more peaceful world.
- Contributes to the vitality of economic life, even creating jobs and new professions.
Client quotes on the support their volunteers provided:
“Just having someone listen to your story helps you heal and get things into perspective. Someone giving you encouragement when it is scarce also helped” Paula (volunteer Barbara)
“Having support from the service made me realise that people really do care. Sue was more to me than someone who helped with the children. She was always there to listen and to guide me. I will always be grateful for her kindness” Chris (volunteer Sue)
“She’s a fairy godmother, the nicest person I have ever met” Sue (volunteer Robyn)
“Gloria helped me to think I was worthy because of her constant contact. Her experience and wisdom were very valuable and helped to curb my social isolation” Alicia (volunteer Gloria)
“My volunteer was a good listener and extremely kind and caring with the children. I had started to withdraw from friends and even basic social things like shopping. There were constant drains on my resources but I couldn’t have coped without my volunteer” Fran (volunteer Kay).
Orana Early Support has worked hard to attract and maintain a continuous stream of volunteers over the years. The interest and commitment of staff and volunteers has meant that the families have been well supported. Retention of volunteers has been a focus of the service and has been achieved via: careful recruitment and matching of volunteers; ongoing supervision, support, recognition and training offered to the volunteers. There are also flow-on benefits for the volunteers such as improved health, skills and satisfaction through active community participation. The local community also benefits as families and social capital are strengthened.
The work of Orana Early Support is accomplished by paid project co-ordinators and a team of volunteers.
Achievements and Awards
Our service has been recognised and received many awards for its valuable contribution as :
Winners of the 2013 Sutherland Shire Community Group of the Year, 2011 Sydney South Volunteer Team of the Year, 2009 Government of NSW Community Service Award, and 2006 Sutherland Shire Community Group of the Year. Orana Early Support were also finalists in the 2009 Sutherland Shire Community Group of the Year Award and the 2012 Excellence in Not For Profit Volunteer Management Award.
We were delighted to be winners of the 2011 Sydney South Volunteer Team of the Year. The award was announced by the Centre for Volunteering and presented by Minister Victor Dominello at Parliament House on 5th December , 2011. Congratulations to our dedicated volunteer team.
Carol Provan was announced as our Patron at the High Tea fundraiser in May 2013. Carol represents the local Sutherland Shire community as a Councillor for the A ward district. She previously served 2 elected terms as councillor and as Mayor in 87-88 and 2011-2012. She sits on 3 standing committees in Strategy and Direction,Development, Assessment and Planning as deputy chair, and Community Services & Lifestyle as Deputy chair.
Volunteers are the heart of the Orana Early Support and are valued members of the service. The trained home visiting volunteers are pivotal to the success of the support we give our clients. There is a large team of volunteer home visitors while other volunteers assist us in the office. For further details please go to our Supporters page and scroll down to the Acknowledgements section.
In June 2006, the Deputy Mayor and Chair of the Community Services Committee, Melanie Gibbons, wrote in a support letter for the NAB Volunteer Awards – “I am aware of the supervision, support and quality training given to the volunteers and I have had the opportunity to see the benefit this organisation brings to our Shire…it is well known that improved family function benefits the family as well as the community. Sutherland Council encourages resident participation and I am pleased to see it working so well in this service. The volunteers themselves benefit through improved activity and health and so a more caring inclusive community is built. Early intervention has the highest success rate and therefore the best return for society”.
Building resilience is an important part of the work of our volunteers. They help mothers by being an external support and resource, model new parenting skills and encourage mothers to work on internal, social and interpersonal strengths. Building resilience allows a person, group or community to prevent, minimize or overcome the damaging effects of adversity. Building resilience is effective, can have life long benefits, can be inexpensive or nil cost. Resilience is linked with success in life and prevention of substance use problems, mental disorder and violence. (Hillin, A., & McAlpine, R. 2006)