Better together – Volunteers are vital to MIFWA’s success

During National Volunteer Week 2022, MIFWA celebrates our volunteers for their important work and generous contribution to the MIFWA community, including at Lorikeet Centre in West Leederville.

In 2022, National Volunteer Week (NVW) takes place from Monday 16 to Sunday 22 May, with the theme ‘Better Together’, the perfect theme for MIFWA as volunteers play a vital role in achieving our vision to realise the potential of all Western Australians to recover from mental illness, to maintain mental health, and to live a meaningful life in their community. 

Naturally, NVW is when we receive more queries about volunteering with MIFWA, and so we wanted to take this opportunity to answer the most common questions.  

What do MIFWA volunteers do? 

We have a team of 10 volunteers at the moment who support us in various ways, including: 

  • Managing Lorikeet Centre reception. 
  • Offering general support in the daily running of Lorikeet Centre. 
  • Coordinating group activities. 
  • Providing a listening ear and support to members. 
  • Offering practical assistance to people on computers and phones. 
  • Facilitating art therapy sessions, language lessons (e.g., Spanish) and poetry classes.  
  • Helping with events. 
  • Providing skills-based volunteering, for example in data analysis and reporting. 

Hours and days are negotiable to fit with each volunteer while considering the requirements of the MIFWA location where they’re based.  

What makes a good volunteer candidate? 

During interviews for our volunteer positions, our managers look for qualities such as flexibility, good communication skills, and a good understanding of boundaries and how to maintain boundaries. They always meet with the person first to make sure they are a good fit for their role and the people they’ll be supporting.  

Volunteers must be willing to attend an induction and any mandatory training, depending on where they will be volunteering. For example, volunteers who work in the kitchen at Lorikeet Centre need to obtain a Food Safety certificate. These days, everyone must also complete COVID-19 training to ensure their safety and the safety of others.   

How diverse are MIFWA’s volunteers? 

MIFWA volunteers encompass different backgrounds, including culture, sexuality, skills, age and gender. Additionally, most of our volunteers bring a lived experience of mental illness, either personally or as a carer.  

Do volunteers go on to work with MIFWA? 

Absolutely. Some of our team start with us as volunteers, and then they apply to work with us as employees when a position is advertised. Others might begin as students as part of a student placements, stay on to volunteer and eventually gain employment with us. Having that volunteer experience is a huge benefit. 

Does volunteering help to make an impact? 

Volunteers play an important role in the impact MIFWA makes in our community.  

Our volunteers tell us they’re motivated to keep coming back because they feel valued by our team and the people they support, whether at Lorikeet Centre or for one of our community events.  

We also hear from members, participants and carers that our volunteers support them to feel at home, included and understood. Being among others with lived experiences provides them with hope and strength. It helps them to build confidence to leave the house and make new connections and friends, participate in activities, and set and achieve their goals. 

At MIFWA, the contribution of volunteers is valued, whether big or small, and we are grateful for their role in supporting others on their recovery journeys.  

How do I become a volunteer at MIFWA? 

Submit an expression of interest to volunteer with MIFWA by filling in the form on our website.  Joyce, our Volunteer Coordinator, will then get in touch. We’re excited that you’re interested in volunteering with us. 

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