Tūao Awhina | Supported Volunteering Programme

Volunteer South promotes, supports and strengthens volunteering, creating stronger more connected communities.

Supported Volunteering is a non-clinical, referral-based service for people who have identified mental wellbeing as a challenge and would like to consider voluntary work as a part of their journey. This service offers additional support within the framework of Volunteer Souths core services which are to link people who want to volunteer with organisations needing volunteers.

The service supports participants to explore not only their volunteering options but how these options can support and guide them in future decision making. Encouragement, advice and guidance is all given to participants and preparation for challenges should they arise. As a strengths based model, participants empowers, reconnects and allows people to take affirmative action in their own lives regardless of whether they actually volunteer or not.

For volunteers wanting to self-refer:
Please apply online here, or book an appointment to talk to Supported Volunteer Programme Coordinator here.

Please note that this will not automatically accept you onto the programme and you may still need a health professional to act as your referrer.

For referrers wanting to refer a client:
To assist you in making a decision about whether voluntary work is appropriate for your client, please take the survey found on our website here. It is generally better to do this survey with your client. Please note that this survey is for guidance purposes only and will have no bearing on the final decision about whether the client is accepted onto the programme or not.

If you are wanting to make a referral you can either:

  1. Make an enquiry to learn more about the service
  2. Request a meeting to discuss whether referral is appropriate for your client

The Supported Volunteering Coordinator, the prospective participant and their referrer will then meet to discuss how the service might meet the needs of the participant. All participants are welcome to bring along an additional support person if they wish.

If the participant is accepted onto the programme, both the participant and the referrer sign an agreement to share relevant information and work together as a team.
If the referral is declined, this will be discussed to ensure this decision is understood by all parties.
The Supported Volunteering Coordinator, participant and referrer may agree on additional course of actions relevant to support of the participant if and where necessary.

Supported Volunteering does not:

  • Require participants to volunteer
  • Create opportunities "on demand" where no suitable role can be found
  • Keep a record of participants attendance, placement or require participants to maintain their involvement
  • Guarantee acceptance of any participant for a role. Acceptance of volunteers within a chosen organisation remains at the discretion of that organisation
  • Search for oportunities for participants if they demostrate no willingness to participate in the search
  • Provide or arrange for buddy or side by side support
  • Fund related expenses such as travel costs