Colin Henson has more than 30 years’ experience leading and managing volunteers, with extensive qualifications in
business, human resources, community sector management, occupational health and safety, and training. Colin has found that working with volunteers and organisations to realise their full potential is profoundly rewarding and satisfying.
Colin has been working with Adssi HomeLiving Australia for the last 9 years and is an active participant at The Centre of Volunteering’s networking events. We appreciate Colin’s perspective on volunteer management:
For almost 30 years, Adssi HomeLiving Australia (AHLA) has been providing support to people on the Central Coast, offering a wide range of services that promote choice, lifestyle and independence. For frail aged and people living with disability, this support can mean the difference between continuing to live in their own home and community versus having to move into residential care.
The move to a consumer-driven model of service in the disability and community aged care sectors has represented a significant cultural change for AHLA and is changing the way AHLA recruits, inducts and rosters volunteers.
While the changes have been challenging, AHLA has found that most of its volunteers have embraced new ways of working, and attributes this to communication and the continued commitment of all involved to AHLA’s vision, purpose and values.
AHLA is currently in the planning stage of building its volunteer program and seeks to increase its team of dedicated and active volunteers. AHLA anticipates that this will involve the recruitment of a volunteer coordinator.
In recruiting its volunteers, AHLA will consider a volunteer’s ability to engage with clients. AHLA volunteers are expected to be confident in using technology to connect with clients as well as the organisation.
AHLA will provide training to volunteers, including disability awareness training and dementia awareness training, to increase their knowledge of vulnerable client groups.