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Workshops to address threats to volunteer groups

Bland Shire Council has engaged the Wodonga based Volunteer Resource Bureau to conduct workshops in West Wyalong early next month to address the biggest issues facing our community organisations.

A Mayoral forum attended by more than 40 volunteers in late 2011 identified ageing and declining memberships and concerns surrounding Occupational Health and Safety as the most significant threats and challenges confronting the future of volunteer groups throughout the Shire.

The Volunteer Resource Bureau will conduct a two hour workshop on Occupational Health and Safety for volunteers at 1.30pm on Monday, June 3 before an evening workshop commencing at 5.30pm which deals with the recruitment, retention and improvement of volunteers and many of the other issues facing volunteer organisations.

Each community group represented at the evening workshop will receive a Way To Go Toolkit which contains over 40 templates fully customisable to each organisation to make the administration and day to day running of each group much easier and assist with meeting the requirements now placed on our volunteer organizations.

Meanwhile, the Introduction to Occupational Health and Safety workshop will examine legislation, how to prevent injuries while volunteering, managing specific hazards, OH&S responsibilities of volunteers and emergency management.

With funding from Council to mark National Volunteer Week and support from the Volunteer Resource Bureau, both programs are being offered free to community groups but places are strictly limited and expected to fill up quickly.

A snap poll conducted at the Mayoral volunteer forum revealed that three quarters of those in attendance believe ageing membership is a threat to their organisation. Declining membership was the next highest issue of concern followed by Occupational Health and Safety concerns.

Bookings are available by phoning Bland Shire Council on 6972 2266.