Join our volunteer team
Voluntary work is a rewarding activity where you can connect with like-minded people, develop your skills and help to improve the quality of life for all involved. We are committed to ensuring that volunteers across our programs are encouraged, supported, trained and well-informed for mutual benefit.
Ways to volunteer
Learn more about what it’s like to volunteer
Join our op shop family
We talked to six op shop volunteers about their volunteering experience. Hear what Olivia, Julie, Arian, Duong, Hilary, Carol and Paul have to say – and why they recommend you joining our op shop family:
Olivia: I think volunteering is important, especially for organisations such as Sacred Heart Mission, because it allows them to exist.
Julie: Volunteering is so important to me as a single mother and a self-employed person. So for me to be able to spend a few hours giving back to the community is a great thing.
Olivia: I originally started volunteering in the Elsternwick op shop because it was my local op shop. It was just such a nice place to be. Everyone wanted to be there. Everyone was really welcoming and passionate about what they were doing.
Adrian: You get all sorts of characters coming in from overseas, a lot of backpackers, and there’s an eclectic bunch of people that live in the neighborhood here with unusual haircuts and their fashion sense.
Duong: Normally I come in at 10:00 AM and then I ask for the manager to give me some tasks. And then most of the time I hang the clothes, tagging, and then taking them out to the store and people can start to buy them.
Hilary: I do four hour shift and I spend most of my time on the floor. Sometimes I do the cash register, but most of the time I’m putting more things on the racks, tidying up the racks, tidying up the shoes.
Carole: It’s a great way to keep yourself involved in your local neighborhood. Brunswick Street is the most fantastic street – it’s just full of surprises.
The biggest surprises is this shop, it’s great. It’s just the best.
Olivia: I think volunteering has changed me in a lot of ways. It’s introduced me to a lot of people that I otherwise wouldn’t have interacted with or gotten to know.
Hilary: I really think that this will be something I’ll do for many, many years to come.
Julie: Volunteering – just do it. It’s fantastic. Makes you feel good.
Paul: It gives you acceptance. It gives you an inclusion. It gives you confidence. It’s a real thing. And if you put something into it, you’ll get something back in tenfold.
Our volunteer areas
We offer various volunteer positions including work in our op shops, Meals Program, Aged Care, accommodation sites and health services.
Sacred Heart Mission is sustained by a deep pool of generosity and support from the community. This ensures we can continue to develop and innovate into the future, offering greater choices and integrated services so people can have the benefit of carefully tailored support to addresses their individual needs.
On your first day as a volunteer you will receive an induction to your role by the relevant coordinator. All new volunteers will be asked to complete online training modules, which will depend on your role. Completing the online modules is a compulsory part of your volunteering.
Due to the costs involved for us as an organisation in getting new volunteers inducted, we generally ask for a six-month commitment. However in certain programs we do have some more flexibility to take on shorter term volunteers. Once-off volunteering can only be done as part of the fundraising team or as part of a group that is supporting us.
Corporate volunteers contribute significantly to Sacred Heart Mission’s work and are a vital part of our volunteer program. To get involved please email our Corporate Volunteering Officer Nicci Smith at email@example.com.
On Christmas Day we can only accept volunteers who have completed at least 10 shifts. This is because we need highly experienced volunteers because we usually have about 400 people just for lunch.
The minimum age for volunteering is 15. Teenagers can volunteer in our op shops individually (Prahran (Chapel Street), Hawthorn, Fitzroy and Bentleigh) and also at the Meals Program (through school volunteering), where you will be part of a group. To volunteer in other areas, you must be 18 years or above.
As one of our highly valued volunteers, you will have received communications from us about when you will need to have had your first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination in order to continue volunteering.
If you have a medical exemption for a COVID-19 vaccination, we require an exemption letter from an approved medical practitioner. You will be able to keep volunteering, but you will be required to wear a mask at all times.
To keep everyone safe, if you are not vaccinated against COVID-19, you are unable to volunteer with us. If you plan to be vaccinated in future, please let us know and you can return to volunteering with us then.
All volunteers need to have a National Police Check that is no older than three months. Sacred Heart Mission covers the cost of your Police Check. We just need to sight your original ID or your certified copies.
This depends on the program. For example, all Women’s Services volunteers need a current Working with Children Check.
All volunteers handling food will need a food safety certificate. Following universal infection control and food handling guidelines people completing shifts in the Dining Hall may also be required to wear a hairnet or cap, disposable gloves and a face mask.
All the relevant compliance will be sent to you prior to you starting your role and there will not be any costs for you.
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