Volunteer Application Forms

Please read the information below before filling in the Volunteer Application Form   for Helpline(TRISS), Helping Hands (Nowra), Recovery and Wellbeing or casual events.

You can also volunteer to assist at fundraising events with our fundraising arm,  Sunflower Foundation

Or volunteer as one of our Consumer or Carer Educators / Speakers with Remind Mental Health Training & Education

What is volunteering?

Volunteering is the commitment of time and energy for the benefit of society, local communities, individuals outside the immediate family, the environment or other causes. Voluntary activities are undertaken of a person's own free will, without payment, except for the reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses.

Are there any benefits?

Yes! Becoming a volunteer is probably one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. People decide to volunteer for many different reasons. You may decide to volunteer because you want to enhance your studies at university, because you want to gain experience in the field of mental health, because you have a personal experience of schizophrenia or other mental illnesses and the way they affect individuals and families, or simply because you gain personal satisfaction from helping others. Whatever your reason, you will meet lots of interesting people and learn plenty of new skills.

Should I volunteer?

Before offering to volunteer, you should think about:

  • Why you want to volunteer
  • What type of voluntary you would like (and wouldn't like!) to do
  • What skills, experience and enthusiasm you can offer
  • How much time you can give
  • Other practicalities, such as when you can volunteer and how long you are prepared to stay with the Schizophrenia Fellowship as a volunteer

Becoming a volunteer for the Fellowship is a rewarding experience but it is also a big commitment - people will be relying on you so you will need to think it through before you apply.

What kind of work will I be doing?

Our volunteers assist in a variety of roles at many of our sites around NSW. Some assist with our Recovery Services, some with our Helping Hands service at Nowra and others with our state-wide telephone helpline based in Gladesville.

When you join the Fellowship as a volunteer, you will be offered the option of developing your own career plan, which will take into account your long term ambitions and will determine what kind of extra responsibilities you may wish to take on in order to help you in your chosen career path. Some of the different roles available are listed below:

Helpline volunteers (TRISS)

Volunteers working at Gladesville staff the phones on  the Fellowship's Telephone Information and Referral Service (Helpline). This service is available to the public free of charge from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.
Callers to the service may have a mental illness or they may care for someone with a mental illness. Health professionals and other referral agencies also use the service. Calls range from people wanting to find out where they can get access to accommodation, rehabilitation and medical services, to simply wanting to talk.

Helpline volunteers also work on the Fellowship’s Telephone Outreach service providing social contact and emotional support to consumers who are often socially isolated or simply enjoy having a chat with someone who understands. As well as working for TRISS, there are other tasks which can be matched to your specific skills and requirements.

Helping Hands Volunteers

The Helping Hands Program is a volunteer support service for people living with mental illness in the Shoalhaven LGA. The volunteers support the consumers in social, recreational and work search activities both individually and in group situations.

The volunteers also support the consumers to access rehabilitation services and hospital or doctor's appointments. As you can visualise, this is a very worthwhile service to the people living and recovering from mental illness.

Helping Hands Volunteers
N.B. Please contact Helping Hands directly on 02 4423 4987 to find out about the next intake.

Recovery and Wellbeing Volunteers

Our organisation currently has 10 centre-based sites operational across NSW, all of them delivering recovery and wellbeing services. We have a long standing history of offering volunteer work and student placements. The services are at the following locations:

 Balgowlah  Pioneer Clubhouse
 Bowral  Sunflower Seeds
 Campbelltown  Harmony House
 Canberra  Sunflower Services
 Chatswood  Hercules House
 Parramatta  Frangipani House
 Port Macquarie  Endeavour Clubhouse
 Ulladulla  Sunflower House
 Wagga Wagga  Sunflower House
 Wollongong  Light & Hope Clubhouse

All of the sites are recovery-oriented and utilise International Clubhouse Standards as benchmarks for offering support to those with mental illness and their families. This also means that the members/participants at these sites are empowered consistently to take on the volunteer role at each of the sites to assist with the daily running and the work-ordered days at our sites.

We are very keen to take on additional volunteers that would assist us in the operational running of these sites as well as add on their specialised skills that they have or are learning such as Art Therapy, Dieticians, Nurses, Personal Trainers, Psychologists and so on. Our members would also highly benefit from activities such as mindfulness, yoga, meditation and assistance to drive our transports.

Any volunteers are asked to read up on strength-based practice and recovery-oriented practices that are a highly valued part of delivering our support and services.

Casual Event Volunteer

The Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW supports people with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, and their family, friends and health professionals. Event volunteers provide support to staff members for upcoming events such as; recreational camps, promotional EXPOs, newsletter distribution, mail outs and participation in sporting, art and fundraising activities. Additionally, volunteers will be provided with specific tasks which are suited to their skills and experience.  more info.....

Will I receive training?

Before commencing training potential volunteers must attend an interview with the coordinating staff member. Upon success in the interview process, a full 20 hour training program is provided. Topics covered include information about schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, psychosocial rehabilitation and mental health services, the Mental Health Act and suicide awareness. You will learn about active listening skills, making referrals and talk about the most frequently asked questions, as well as the rights and responsibilities of volunteers. Training is run twice a year in February and September at Gladesville and at other times in regional areas.

What kind of commitment do I need to make?

Volunteers must take a morning or afternoon shift of four hours  once a week in TRISS or at least offer time one day per week in the other programs. We ask that each volunteer make a commitment to the Schizophrenia Fellowship for twelve months (or longer if desired). As the Schizophrenia Fellowship is a non-profit organisation, resources are limited - therefore we need to ensure that volunteers who receive training and other resources make a commitment of time to our organisation.

Will I get a reference?

References from the Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW Inc are highly sought after but can only be provided by the senior manager of the program after the volunteer has served a minimum of six months and has carried out their work reliably and well. Written references are only given in specific circumstances.

What will it cost me?

Fortunately, not much! We ask for an up-front fee of $33 (GST inclusive). This will partly cover the cost of the training program, as well as all of the resources you will receive. Additionally, you will receive a complimentary one-year membership to the Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW. You will also be able to participate in refresher courses throughout the year and attend some of the other in-house training programs that are run by the Fellowship for free.

What now?

If after having read this information you are interested in becoming a volunteer for the Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW, simply fill out our application form and send to - Coordinator of Volunteers, SFNSW, Locked Bag 5014, Gladesville NSW 1675 for TRISS applications and to the Coordinator of the local program for which you are applying. You will be contacted shortly by the Volunteer Coordinator to discuss your application further and will be invited for an interview