Stepping Stone House (SSH), as it receives no permanent government funding, relies on volunteers to help the organisation continue to run effectively and efficiently. At present SSH has various groups of people who donate and volunteer their time to the operation and existence of SSH.
We have four types of volunteers:
1. Saturday day-time volunteers
2. Weekday office administration volunteers
3. Monday and Wednesday in-house evening activities volunteers
4. School holiday and weekend activities volunteers
SATURDAY DAY-TIME VOLUNTEERS
We have a group of sixteen people, who generously give their time to attend SSH on a Saturday during the day. During this time, volunteers arrange social outings for and with the young people, supervise the house to allow young people to have access to their “home”, drive young people to activities, take young people shopping, engage in social conversations with the young people, arrange art workshops with them (much of the artwork created through these workshops is displayed on the walls of SSH), arrange cooking workshops and so forth.
This group of volunteers are people who have a passion and belief in the aims and functioning of SSH. They understand the day to day operational procedures of SSH and support these procedures by following through with structure and routine on a Saturday.
SSH requires volunteer support on three Saturdays per month, consequently with the current number of volunteers, each volunteer is asked to donate one Saturday every two to three months.
WEEKDAY OFFICE ADMINISTRATION VOLUNTEERS
SSH has another small group of people who make themselves available during work hours from Monday through to Friday.
These volunteers are given training on administration tasks at SSH.
These volunteers follow the same procedure of the Saturday volunteers as mentioned above and complete a Working with Children’s Check.
These volunteers allow staff to attend training as a group, for team building days as a group, attend supervision and case conferences or any other appointments with young people.
Times of such volunteering can range from 3 hours to 7 hours.
MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY IN-HOUSE EVENING ACTIVITIES VOLUNTEERS
SSH has a small number of people with expertise in cooking skills, jewellery making, art and crafts skills and job ready skills, who with the assistance and agreement of the manager arrange for cooking demonstrations, cooking classes, job ready skills workshops and so forth.
This type of volunteering generally occurs during activity times allocated for such events on Monday and Wednesday evenings. These volunteers generally attend dinner with the young people one evening prior to the event which gives them a chance to prepare and promote the upcoming activity. Again these volunteers attend training and procedure as do the Saturday volunteers.
SCHOOL HOLIDAYS AND WEEKEND ACTIVITIES VOLUNTEERS
During school holidays and weekends, young people have more time than during the school day/term. This means that they are at home more and often can find themselves bored and otherwise unoccupied. Volunteers can offer to use this time to provide fun, educational, recreational or sporting activities for the young people and often shoulder the financial burden for these events. These types of activities include, trips to the zoo or aquarium, the Easter Show, Luna Park, picnics, days on the harbour and so forth. These activities are welcomed and appreciated by staff and young people and provide an outlet for them during times of less activity.
If you are interested in planning such an activity or outing, please contact the manager, Finn Callanan, at
VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT PROCESS
When a person decides that they would like to volunteer their time at SSH the following procedure must occur:
1. An interview with the Manager of SSH
2. Agreement to the completion of a Working with Children’s Check
3. Each person seeking to be a volunteer within SSH will receive a document “Volunteering at Stepping Stone House” which outlines information such as expectations of volunteering, safety procedures, process for organisation of a social outing and so forth.
4. Attendance at SSH for dinner on at least two occasions.
a. These dinner dates are to be agreed with the manager.
b. These dinner dates will be primarily Monday through to Thursday, where dinner routine involves preparation and cooking of food by a young person and the staff member on duty. This allows for each potential volunteer to meet the residents of SSH, to observe the running and structure of SSH, to ask duty staff member questions and of course for the residents of SSH to meet the potential new volunteer.
5. After this is completed the manager and potential new volunteer will meet again.
6. If it is agreed by all parties that volunteering at SSH will be a healthy and beneficial partnership then details from the volunteer will be obtained and given to SSH volunteer co-ordinator.
It is imperative that the above procedure occurs, as it allows for introductions of all parties to each other and it is also a respectful way for people to attend the “home” of a young person seeking safety and security.
If you are interested in becoming a SSH Volunteer, please contact the manager, Finn Callanan at
SSH recognises the importance of volunteer support and training and as such provides each volunteer with training opportunities and support networks to assist them in their generous offer of assistance.
In each year, at least 4 training sessions are arranged where time is given to debrief volunteers, for volunteer peer support and for discussion amongst volunteers where a lot of idea sharing and problem solving occurs.
Volunteers are encouraged to give the manager topics upon which they seek training and this will be arranged where possible.
Predominantly, the volunteers of SSH are not professionals trained to work in the helping profession and as such SSH recognises the importance of providing them with adequate support networks to be able to assist them in their volunteering duties.
Some current volunteers link-up with a buddy system, where they volunteer with an existing volunteer or a friend who is also a volunteer of SSH. This can be beneficial both for the volunteer and the young people as the two volunteers can work together when difficulties arise, but also have someone there to help them to ensure that all the young people receive the same time and attention. It also helps the young people as they have more than one person to go to if they wish to chat or if they have an issue.
While volunteering at SSH volunteers are given contact details of the on-call duty person for the weekend. This on-call duty person is a paid employee of SSH who is aware of all the behavioural and working plans for each young person, who has a relationship with each young person of SSH and who will be available at the end of phone to give volunteers advice, support, guidance and debriefing if required.
Should a volunteer deem it necessary, the on-call duty person will attend SSH in person to assist the volunteer with a young person or a particular issue.
"The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others, will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves" Helen Keller