The HYPA Homes program supports young people who have experienced disadvantage and trauma, so the team benefited greatly from her knowledge of psychological practice. Tina said her volunteer role helped to lessen the workload on the administration side of the program, which allowed more time for staff to focus on the young people in their care.

“Although my tasks were just a small part in the background of the program, it was still rewarding to know the smallest help can make a difference in how successful the program was.

“The organisation uses a therapeutic model based off proven psychological research. It has been a great experience being able to see some of the theory I am currently studying be put to practice in real life,” she said.

During her time at HYPA, Tina proved to be incredibly dedicated, devoting almost 800 hours and becoming an integral part of the team. After 3 committed years in the role, a paid position became available at just the right time for Tina who jumped at the opportunity.

“When offered the paid position, I felt recognised for the time and effort that I had put into volunteering over the past few years. I was extremely happy as I had begun looking for a part time job and the timing couldn’t have been better.

 “Receiving this paid position means that I can continue doing the same tasks (and more) without any financial stress. It also gives me leverage in the workforce and allowed me to gain experience in work culture. I learnt many new skills such as communications with sensitive information and how to approach difficult situations,” she said.

Tina said volunteering helped her greatly to gain real world experience but did find it challenging at times to balance with her studies, something she said the team were very supportive of.

 “I felt supported during my volunteering journey as my Volunteer Manager often reached out to check on me from time to time as we were unable to directly keep in contact on a regular basis.

 “The organisation also provided lots of facilities for volunteers such as extra professional development training.

 “I would recommend others to try volunteering at any organisation if possible. Even just a small amount of time makes a big difference for others and it is a very rewarding experience,” she said.

Being able to recruit a volunteer into a paid position can be very beneficial for any organisation. Tina was able to hit the ground running with the knowledge and experience she got in her volunteer position.