News & Events

Volunteers supporting families

November 6, 2019

The power of volunteers is coming into its own at Emerge thanks to the establishment of the Family Support Volunteer Program.

The program matches a volunteer with a family to help in any way they can to support women and their children to begin afresh. This could include assisting with looking after the children while mum cooks dinner or does the washing, tutoring children, connecting the family with other community supports, enjoying some outdoor activities together or simply just being there.

Michelle Lavigne, Emerge’s Volunteer Coordinator, said that program filled a much-needed gap for families who have lost touch with their own families since escaping family violence.

“In a way, the volunteer assumes the role of a family member like a mum or grandmother. For many families, they miss this type of relationship in their lives,” Michelle said.

Still in its infancy, the program is already proving itself.

“For some families, they have been isolated for some time and have had nobody to turn to,” Michelle said.

“For every family who has connected through the program, just knowing that they have the support from not only Emerge but the regular face of a volunteer has been a source of comfort for our women.”

The role involves a commitment of six to 12 months pending the requirements of the family.  Volunteers must have an up-to-date working with children check and a police check.

To fully support the volunteers who take part in the service Emerge offers a group monthly reflective practice with Michelle and an Emerge therapist.

“This practice gives the volunteers an opportunity to reflect on what’s happened in the last month, gain new skills, share experiences and learn from the group. It is also great way for the volunteers to all meet each other,” Michelle said.

Emerge is currently recruiting for more volunteers.  For more information please contact Michelle on 8657 8622.

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