Volunteers are integral to the daily operations of St Mary’s House of Welcome and are central to our ability to continue to deliver high quality services. Volunteers assist with running programs and outings, preparing and serving meals, running our reception area, helping with fundraising events and ensuring that St Mary’s House of Welcome continues to be a warm and welcoming space. 

There are many benefits to those who choose to volunteer at St Mary’s House of Welcome including:  

  • Development of skills for future career opportunities
  • Training and other learning opportunities
  • Recognition for volunteers at annual events
  • Meals provided during shift hours
  • Meeting new people and making new friends, working as part of a team and having fun
  • The knowledge that you are making a real difference to people’s lives

What are the steps to becoming a volunteer?

STEP 1: Download and complete this Volunteer Application Form.

STEP 2: Make sure you have a current Police Check and Working with Children Check. For more information on how to apply for these mandatory checks, see the FAQ below.

STEP 3: Email your completed forms and copies of your checks to our Volunteer Coordinator, Jock Allan – jock.allan@smhow.org.au  To ensure you are matched to the best opportunity, we need some time to process enquiries. You should receive a response from our volunteer team within a fortnight.

STEP 4: Once your application is processed, you will be contacted by one of our team via email and be provided with more detailed information about the role we have available, your induction and start date.

PLEASE NOTE: It is a legal requirement for all volunteers to have a current Police Check and Working with Children Check

Volunteering – Frequently Asked Questions

What types of Volunteer Roles are available

St Mary’s House of Welcome is a place for all people with all sorts of skills and experience. We are happy to explore ways of utilising your talents. Please include all your skills on your application form.

Dining Room: Includes serving meals, washing up, setting tables and interacting with service users to ensure the service runs smoothly and is enjoyable for diners. Monday to Saturday, in two shifts, Breakfast (8.00am -10.00am) and Lunch (11.30am -1.30pm).

Food Prep: Assisting with food preparation and basic kitchen-hand work including washing up, cleaning, plating food and supporting the Chef to ensure the service runs smoothly. Monday to Friday between Breakfast and Lunch and usually rolls over into assisting in the dining room at Lunch (10.00am -1.30pm).

Driving: Collection of food and various donations at the request of our chef and support workers; and drive groups to events. We have two regular food collections, one on Wednesdays and one on Thursdays that happen between 10.15am -12.00pm.

Recreation: Supporting staff during day and overnight trips with groups, facilitating groups, driving, making sandwiches or cooking BBQ’s.

Art and Craft Program: Teaching various skills to individual service users who join in our art and craft classes.

Community Development: St Mary’s House of Welcome aims to foster a sense of community. We do this by holding occasional community days. Volunteers are encouraged to attend the community days and spend time with our service users.

Events: Volunteer to work at one of our fundraising events such as the Trivia Night, Degustation for Dignity. Roles include set up, welcoming guests, food serving, bar tending, and pack down.
Other areas: such as the Board of Directors, hairdressing, fundraising, fishing trips and legal aid.

How often do I need to be available to volunteer?

Volunteers are a vital part of the team at St Mary’s House of Welcome – your commitment and regular, reliable attendance enables us to deliver excellent services to marginalised, disadvantaged, socially isolated and homeless people. Our volunteer rosters work on a fortnightly basis. Most of our regular volunteers attend weekly or fortnightly. On occasion, volunteers may be contacted by us regarding their availability to act as “relief volunteers” (eg. If we need help when our regular volunteers are away).

Fundraising event volunteering often occurs in the evenings or on weekends, so this is a good fit for people who work full time during the week, those with busy schedules and those who prefer shorter term more flexible options.

Do I need a Police Check and Working with Children’s Check?

Yes! All volunteers need to have a Police Check (CRIMCHECK) and a Working with Children’s Check. This is a government requirement for all staff and volunteers, and work at St Mary’s House of Welcome cannot start until both these checks are sighted.

For the Police Check please download and complete this CRIMCHECK form and bring it in with your ID to your interview and we process it here.

For the Working with Children Check you can start the application online and then take a passport photo and 100 points of ID to an Australia Post office. We are classed as number 64 on the form which is a religious organisation and everything else is self-explanatory. There is no fee charged for volunteers.  Click here to complete the form. Please note that as a holder of a Working with Children’s Check you have a duty of care and a legal responsibility to report any incidence of child abuse that you encounter.

Who Can Volunteer?

Community Volunteers:
St Mary’s House of Welcome is very fortunate to have almost 200 regular volunteers who are actively involved in a variety of roles across the organisation. They have contributed around 8,000 hours per year in areas such as the Dining Room, art classes, hairdressing, social inclusion programs, collecting food donations and – of course – our wonderful receptionists who manage to create such a welcoming atmosphere for the people seeking our assistance.

Corporate Volunteers:
Each year, we have a number of corporate groups volunteering with St Mary’s House of Welcome via their Corporate Responsibility Programs.  Usually, these groups get involved in hosting Corporate BBQs or excursions for our service users. 

Service User Volunteers:
St Mary’s House of Welcome has a very loyal team of service users who volunteer in many different areas. Whether it’s assisting with the food pickups, helping out with odd jobs, serving meals or tending to the ever-growing garden in the courtyard, St Mary’s House of Welcome would not be the same without their valued input. These responsibilities help develop skills and confidence which enhance service users’ capacity to undertake future education, training and employment. 

School Volunteers:
We currently have more than 20 schools which volunteer at St Mary’s House of Welcome throughout the year. We have also have numerous schools from regional Victoria visit us to learn more about what we do and help with things such as preparing and serving morning tea. 

Event volunteers:
Volunteers are essential to the success of our help major events and fundraising throughout the year.  Often these volunteers are those people who are unable to volunteer during business hours.

If you would like further information about becoming a volunteer at St Mary’s House of Welcome, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Jock Allan, by email at jock.allan@smhow.org.au or on 03 9417 6497.

Related links and info