Volunteering overview

Programs, events and activities being run by Local Drug Action Teams (LDATs) may regularly or occasionally require some extra personnel that could be provided by volunteers.

What does Involving Volunteers mean for LDATs?

Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.1 Volunteers donate their time to a cause, program, or organisation, without getting paid. The amount of time donated depends on the volunteer position; some roles may be required once or twice a year, while others may be ongoing weekly or monthly roles.

Which target audience should volunteering recruitment focus on?

Adults and many young people from all demographics can be volunteers. The focus of your volunteer recruitment will depend on who will be the best fit with your activity and who is interested in the specifics of the volunteering role you are offering. Depending on the nature of the volunteer role you wish to fill, you may be looking for specific skills and experience, age range, or hours of availability. Consider what requirements you have, as this will help you target your recruitment strategy to reach the right volunteers.

In Australia, the number of people volunteering, and the hours that they commit to volunteering, are increasing.2 Research shows that women and people over 35 years are most likely to volunteer, with people over 65 years of age contributing the highest number of hours overall.1

How does involving volunteers help to prevent alcohol and drug-related issues?

The involvement of community members as volunteers in LDAT activity to prevent alcohol and other drug-related harms can improve outcomes for both the individual involved and the community more broadly.

Volunteers can provide valuable extra human resources to deliver LDAT activity in the community. This can enhance local initiatives to prevent alcohol and other drug-related issues.

Participating as a volunteer can also help individuals feel a sense of belonging in their community, form new relationships, and have a sense of purpose, which can protect them against alcohol and other drug use.3

How effective are volunteering efforts?

Volunteers can provide critical support in filling delivery gaps for alcohol and other drugs programs. Volunteers that are appropriately trained, strategically used, and recognised for their contribution will be the most effective.

  1. Volunteering Australia 2018, Definition of volunteering
  2. Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies. 2016. Giving Australia 2016: Executive summary.
  3. Munro, G and Ramsden, R. 2013. ‘Primary prevention: preventing uptake of drugs’ in Drug use in Australian society.

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