“Although this impact was primarily felt in Victoria, WA has been affected more heavily in 2022 and we are yet to grasp the full impact.”
“We believe there are several factors causing people to become reluctant to volunteer including the impact of the pandemic, loss of confidence and becoming more risk adverse to health conditions,” she said.
“This decline has caused that the demand from schools for volunteers providing one-one-one mentoring or learning support to a full classroom being unable to be met, highlighting the potential risk of teacher fatigue and leaving them feeling overwhelmed.”
Western Australian students are missing out, offered with less support and guidance to help them achieve academically, emotionally and socially.
Joyce Michael, School Volunteer and Mentor Program Coordinator at Lynwood Senior High School speaks to the downturn in numbers.
“I can talk first hand to the impact that Covid-19 has made to the volunteer program in our school. 30% of my volunteers no longer attend as they have been directly impacted by Covid and a further 20% have been impacted by isolation requirements for themselves or family members,” she said.
“This decline in participation has had a real impact on the program,” said Joyce.
The EdConnect program trains and supports volunteers to work in local schools, providing a safety net for young people who might otherwise struggle to realise their potential – in school and life.
Gerri says now is the time to volunteer.
“More than ever, this is the year to give back and support your community. Volunteering at a local school can provide community connections and enable volunteers to use their own life skills to help students and teachers bounce back after the disruptions we have had,” said Gerri.
To express interest in volunteering, contact EdConnect Australia on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 668 550.