Why volunteer?

A new program aimed at encouraging young people to volunteer in their community launched this week.

The YVolunteer program has been established under the Volunteering WA umbrella to help young people aged 15 to 24 prepare for volunteering roles across the state.

Volunteering WA has been doing this work for many years, however YVolunteer is directly aimed at young people. 

The program is being funded by both the state government and Lotterywest.

2019 WA Young Volunteer of the Year Marcus Wong says many young people want to volunteer but aren’t sure where to start. 

“A lot of people say ‘I’d love to make a difference with my life but I just don’t know where to go’… and they don’t even know where to start looking,” he says. 

Volunteers from Volunteering WA picking up seagrass fruit. Photo: Volunteering WA.

The website features several modules for young people to complete as well as a CV builder and a search directory for open volunteering positions in the state. 

Volunteering WA chief executive Tina Williams says volunteer work is a great way for young people to gain experience and prepare themselves for the workforce. 

Indiana Lummis, 16, from Doubleview, has been volunteering in her community since she was six, working with various charities around Perth. 

Indiana says in her experience a lot of her peers have a negative opinion about volunteer work. 

“People not finding it cool, or make excuses that they’re too busy for it, when they could easily make the time for it,” she says.

She says one of the barriers for young people is they don’t know how they can find volunteer work. 

According to the 2021 Mission Australia Youth Survey 44 per cent of young people aged 15 to 24 had volunteered in WA in the last 12 months.

Volunteers helping revegetate sea beds. Photo: Volunteering WA.

Teach Learn Grow volunteer Samantha Eadie says there are many benefits for young people who help out in their communities. 

“I think it’s not only very rewarding to help other people but also it’s a fantastic way of meeting like-minded people your own age,” she says. 

Volunteering WA’s Tina Williams says the YVolunteer program will continue to expand over the next year with plans to provide information sessions in person as well as online.