As a NALAG Volunteer you can engage in a broad range of activities. NALAG volunteers work together in promoting and maintaining the services of NALAG. Volunteers have an option to:
- Provide face to face individual grief support
- Provide telephone grief support
- Provide assistance with administration tasks
- Help promote special events eg education, training, Grief Awareness Week and healing ceremonies
- Assist with fundraising, catering and gardening
NALAG Grief Support Volunteers are trained by NALAG to provide a listening ear to those who are grieving. As a grief support volunteer you will not provide counselling, but understanding and support, which is great comfort to those who are grieving.
You can give as little or as much time as you can manage. Grief Support sessions usually last 1 hour for adults and half an hour for children. Depending on your client, you could spend as little as 1 hour per week for 6 weeks.
To become a NALAG Grief Support Volunteer will need to attend the NALAG Basic Loss & Grief Support Volunteer Training Program. This training is held at different times during the year at various Branches in NSW. The training is experiential and you will look at some of your own losses and learn how to support someone who is grieving.
As a volunteer you will benefit from skills training, social interaction and self fulfillment received while volunteering for NALAG.
Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community and gain new skills in the process. All NALAG Volunteers have the opportunity to attend our training and education and NALAG is committed to the continuing education and supervision of our grief support volunteers.
NALAG Centre believes in giving back to our volunteers. We frequently have movie nights, social outings and awareness sessions for our volunteers to meet one another and to involve them in the planning of special events like Grief Awareness Month.
NALAG Volunteers are recognised for their achievements. NALAG's affiliation with the Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) has allowed us to provide our volunteers with a Service Medal.
All NALAG Volunteers wishing to become a grief support volunteer need to complete the 6 week training course at the NALAG Centre for Loss & Grief in Dubbo despite prior training, knowledge or employment in a counselling or support field. The training is experiential and you will discuss your own losses in the group. Training is usually conducted 1 evening per week (6.00 pm - 9.00 pm) for 6 weeks. There is a fee of $165.00 to attend the training.
Our various Centres and Branches across NSW conduct Grief Support Volunteer training for one on one individual support as well as telephone grief support. For further information regarding volunteering for the NALAG Centre for Loss & Grief please contact the staff at the NALAG Centre on 02 6882 9222 or send us an email.
In today's busy society, it can be hard to think about finding time to volunteer. Ironically, the people who do volunteer will generally tell you that they are more fulfilled and happy compared with before they started contributing to their community. The benefits of volunteering are enormous, both to ourselves and to others. The right match can help you find friends, reach out to the community, learn new skills and even advance your career. Volunteering can even help protect your mental and physical health.
There are many studies that indicate that volunteering produces health benefits. Mary V. Merrill, LSW and Merrill Associates (2007) in their report "Everything I Learned in Life I Learned through Volunteering" found that there is a significant connection between volunteering and good health. The report shows that volunteers have greater longevity, higher functional ability, lower rates of depression and less incidence of heart disease.
Further the report suggests that volunteering is particularly beneficial to the health of older adults and those serving 100 hours annually. According to the report:
A study of adults age 65 and older found that the positive effect of volunteering on physical and mental health is due to the personal sense of accomplishment an individual gains from his or her volunteer activities.
Another study found that volunteering led to lower rates of depression in individuals 65 and older.
An analysis of longitudinal data found that individuals over 70 who volunteered approximately 100 hours had less of a decline in self-reported health and functioning levels, experienced lower levels of depression, and had more longevity.
Volunteering is good for your mind and body and volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self -confidence, self-esteem and life satisfaction. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity.
Volunteering combats depression. A key risk factor for depression is social isolation. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against stress and depression when you're going through challenging times.