Volunteering FAQ

We are proud to say that all our volunteers do so with an open mind, heart, and passion for the homeless and those at risk of homelessness.

Some of our volunteer roles may require specific skills or qualifications, such as a current driver’s licence if you’re driving the van or computer and literacy skills if you’re an office volunteer. 

We can discuss this with you during the information session if you’re interested in a role that requires a specific skill set.

We welcome anyone wanting to share their skills, expertise, passion and time to express their interest in volunteering. Volunteering with Holy Fools often requires working with some of the most vulnerable people in our community. We must follow a rigorous recruitment process to get the right people placed in the right volunteer roles.

Holy Fools is committed to keeping children and young people safe with zero tolerance of harm or abuse and expect all our employees and volunteers to reflect this commitment.

There are several areas to volunteer in. What you will be doing will depend on where your interests lie in volunteering! 

A volunteer at our ARC may only work 3 hours a week and collect and store donated clothing and non-perishable food. Other duties will include keeping the ARC tidy, organised and quality stock control. 

Whereas a volunteer to Street Angels may only volunteer for a couple of hours, help pack the van and unpack the van on location, help serve the food, and then clean and pack up, returning the gear to the ARC and a volunteer in the office may make phone calls, file or help fundraise.

There are several volunteer opportunities available. All events and services occur within the Yarra Ranges and usually in our office, our ARC or on outreach in various locations.

You can expect a lot from volunteering with Holy Fools, including the chance to make friends, learn new skills and support the vital work we do by standing alongside Australians experiencing homelessness. Studies have shown that giving your time to help others can be good for your health, well-being and social skills, so you can also expect to feel a positive impact in these areas.

From our experience, we’ve found that volunteers who are committed regularly over a long period gain a more profound sense of personal satisfaction, build friendships, and gain invaluable experience.

Ideally, you’ll be available for at least one or two hours per week over a 12-month or more extended period. This will vary from role to role and location, so we encourage you to speak with us about your interests and availability.

The process is pretty straightforward. The first step is to enrol in a Volunteer Information Session to learn more about Holy Fools and our volunteering opportunities. Once you have attended, you can apply through the Volaby Volunteer System. Once registered and approved, you can then start to join some of the programs and services on offer.

To become a registered volunteer, you must have a valid WWCC and be over 16, with a parent or guardian giving permission. However, we recognise the value of having children volunteer and encourage you to involve your kids in collecting food and making donations for our regular food bak program or Christmas Hampers.

We love our volunteers and are passionate about providing all of our volunteers with training and support from the moment you join us and beyond. 

General orientation will occur at the Information Session. Our Policies and Procedures are available through the Volaby system, and you’ll receive onsite orientation training when you commence volunteering at a new location.

During the Information Session, you’ll learn about Holy Fools, our mission, our services and our people. You’ll also hear stories and first-hand what it is like to volunteer with Holy Fools.

Depending on your volunteer role, you may undergo additional training in food safety, handling, and software.  

Companies and business groups are welcome to volunteer! We welcome organisations that want to participate in our Corporate Community Engagement program. For more details, contact us at 1300 133 889 to discuss in greater detail.

That is fantastic! We will endeavour to approve your application, contact your referees and verify your details as soon as possible. Keep an eye out for an email that confirms your status and encourages you to continue to choose volunteer opportunities. Sometimes this may take a week or two, and at other times, it may take a day or two – it will depend on the availability of staff and resources.

The Duke of Edinburgh award is a structured program empowering youth to explore their full potential. We welcome students to volunteer with us if you’re willing to commit a minimum of 60 hours of service to us. Please note that student places are minimal, and we may be unable to accommodate every request.

That’s fantastic! You can learn more about our fundraising efforts and opportunities through our fundraising page.

There are also opportunities to help with community events by selling merchandise and talking to people about our mission and the issues of homelessness in the Yarra Ranges. Of course, if you want to spend some time collecting at a location or workplace, we would love to speak with you!

Currently, most of our volunteer roles are during the weekday. We are seeking additional funding to begin an after-hours program. However, there are opportunities to volunteer at the ARC after hours and at weekends. 

Holy Fools has recently updated our Covid-19 Management Plan after extensive consultation with our volunteer community, which now includes mandating or prioritising vaccinated volunteers in certain situations. For more information, please review our COVID-19 FAQs here.

Our outreach services continued throughout lockdown in a much more abbreviated version in compliance with the restrictions. We continued with our volunteers as an essential service and provided all volunteers with the requisite safety PPE. We did not conduct any volunteer recruitment or seek to onboard new volunteers during the period.

Yes, and No. Signing up as a volunteer means you will need a WWCC. This will be free if you’re volunteering and can be found here. The onboarding process will require the WWCC number and a scan of your card.

The good news is that a Police Check is only necessary when you will be handling money – more than likely in the office.

Fantastic! We appreciate you applying to volunteer with us! It is heart-warming to know that our or other services may have made a difference in your life. You would now like to give back; however, we cannot progress your application further if you have accessed our service or another service. Our one-year guideline is in place to avoid any conflict of interest between our volunteers, friends or service providers. It has been established to ensure the boundaries around our service.

There are some possibilities for leadership roles, and we encourage you to explore these with us during the volunteer information session.

While we encourage you to sign on for extended volunteering opportunities, we recognise that you may not be able to attend as much as you would like. Most available volunteering opportunities can be participated in without a long-term commitment. However, the onboarding process for volunteering short-term or long-term is still the same.

Ideally, it would be great to have our volunteers rostered on shift with friends and family members; however, we often only have limited spots available on teams, and accommodating these needs cannot be easy. You are likely to experience significantly longer wait times in being rostered to a team if you are volunteering as a group, but we will try to make this work where possible.

Certainly! Suppose the volunteer work with Holy Fools isn’t relevant to your job position but highlights your dedication to your community or shows what is important to you outside of work. In that case, you can include it on your resume under an additional information section or even consider adding an area exclusively for volunteer work.

Volunteering can take you ahead of the pack – check out this article.