Volunteering is the ultimate expression of human relationships – people acting on behalf of their communities because of a desire to contribute and help. Volunteers can have an enormous impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.
It is an invaluable resource for the Greek Welfare Centre to have people willing to work together for the betterment of their community. For some programmes, like the Community Visitors Scheme, the Centre actually relies on volunteers.
As well as benefits for the organisation, there are also benefits for the volunteers: increased self-confidence, social outlets, opportunities for self-development etc. Volunteers tend to do work for organisations that have some personal meaning for them; something that gives them fulfilment and a sense of pride that they are making a difference.
Generally, individuals are attracted to the work of the Greek Welfare Centre as it is seen as part of the work of the Church and service to others. There is a foundation already laid where the role of the volunteers is valued and acknowledged.
Where necessary, the Greek Welfare Centre organises 3-4 Volunteer Training Courses each year. The courses are conducted in both Greek and English. The training is done over 3 consecutive weeks; each session runs from 9:30am-1pm. A kit of all the materials is issued to all participants. A certificate is presented to participants at the completion of the course. The course is free.
The training is experiential and interactive and participants report that training is interesting and useful.
Volunteers are honoured throughout the year at various events but the highlight is the annual reception where volunteers are awarded certificates of appreciation by His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos.