National Volunteer Week at Viridianhttps://viridianadvisory.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/58.png900600Viridian AdvisoryViridian Advisoryhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/5898812d436347af60860762eeb86e38?s=96&d=mm&r=g
National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering, with the theme this year being ‘Better Together.’ At Viridian, volunteering is something that is close to our hearts and is a key aspect of our Community program and Viridian Foundation. In honour of National Volunteer Week, we thought we’d take a moment to highlight and celebrate some of the initiatives taking place across the nation.
The catastrophic floods that have taken place across NSW and QLD have destroyed homes and livelihoods over the last few months. For thousands affected across these regions, the long journey to clean-up and recovery is only just beginning so continuing to support those in need is crucial.
One of our partnered charities in Queensland Baby Give Back provided support for flood victims by donating food, clothing, and items for babies and children. In the month of April alone, the team at Baby Give Back helped 967 children receive essential items they deserve with 449 of those children being directly impacted by the floods.
Over the past few months Viridian staff in Queensland have been volunteering their time to Baby Give Back and helping by cleaning prams and car seats, sorting through clothes and packing Safe Start boxes for mums in need. On top of this, nationally we started a flood drive which raised a total of $1672 with matching gifts from our Viridian Foundation.
Being able to volunteer time at the Baby Give Back warehouses has been so rewarding. Baby Give Back’s vision is Every Baby Has an Equal Start in Life, and being in their warehouse, you can truly see that vision come to life through their passion and dedication to helping those in need.
In the Parramatta region, the Viridian team have supportedCOCOS, a community program which provides warm meals, clothes and hot drinks to those in need on Tuesday nights throughout the year. The COCOS program is not exclusive to the Parramatta region as they also provide services in the Sydney CBD and recently started a program in Blacktown too.
Rain, hail or shine our volunteers are always available to help support the homeless. Clothes, toiletries and sanitary items are collected from various donors and are organised into a trailer every month. In addition to this, warm meals are prepared at the church every Tuesday and are served along with coffee, tea and soft drinks to the homeless community in the area.
How have Viridian made an impact?
Over Christmas, the Viridian team in Parramatta donated $760 to assist COCOs in putting Christmas Hampers together for the homeless. Several staff have also joined me in my weekly volunteering at COCOs by serving food and distributing donated clothes to those in need.
Being able to help the homeless in these small ways brings me great joy. Having the opportunity to learn more about these individuals and their life experiences is always rewarding, with our friends on the street always welcoming the opportunity to have a conversation and share their stories without any judgement.
Calum Laing, Executive Advisor – Perth, Western Australia
Our major support in Western Australia is for Passages, a youth engagement hub providing a non-judgemental safe space for young people aged 12-25 in Perth and Peel who are experiencing homelessness.
I came across Passages in 2013 after a very passionate plea from the Centre Manager who presented at The CEO Sleep Out, another charity event I have been taking part in for several years. Having children between the ages of 12 to 25, I thought how challenging the home life must be to make the decision to sleep on the streets. Youth homelessness is unfortunately increasing, and Passages have been instrumental in filling a gap of needs. The Passages hub assist with all the basics we take for granted, providing things such as an address for government documents to be sent too, showers, clean clothing, a meal for the day and washing facilities, along with other essential services such as a mobile doctor and other specialist services.
How have Viridian assisted?
It’s not always about the money. To save the hub from having to purchase toiletries for the youth, Viridian staff started gathering small toiletries from our hotel stays to give to Passages, with clients even getting involved in the donations as well.
Viridian was also able to assist Passages by purchasing Christmas presents for clients based on a list of personal wishes, something many clients haven’t experienced for several years. Christmas is a particularly difficult time of year for these young people and being able to give back in such a meaningful way was rewarding for everyone involved.