Finding their feet

After working at Waminda Community House for a few years, Sherileigh needed help from Not-for-profit Law to finally find her feet

In 2012, Sherileigh Dowell started a new role at Waminda Community House, a neighbourhood house in Benalla. Sherileigh was inspired by the work Waminda Community House did to provide supportive meeting spaces, socially inclusive activities, and up-to-date resources and information for the community.

Despite loving her new role, Sherileigh didn’t have a lot of experience. She spent years getting accustomed to her role as House Coordinator, and was still “finding her feet”. Finally, she decided to attend a session with our Not-for-profit Law Training team, Volunteers and the Law.

The session helped Sherileigh transform Waminda Community House’s volunteer program, resulting in the development of specific volunteer position descriptions, as well as official volunteer policies and procedures for the organisation. She said she “wouldn’t be as confident” had she not attended Not-for-profit Law Training’s session.

“Thanks to what we learned at Not-for-profit Law Training, we’re more confident in what we’re doing, can deliver our services better and volunteers feel happier, safer and valued.”

The new descriptions helped Sherileigh’s volunteers know their rights, duties, responsibilities and scope of their role. She now has formalised volunteer inductions, which she tailors to the volunteers, so “volunteers now know there are policies and procedures in place specifically for them, and if something’s not right, they can go look up their procedure”.

Sherileigh also started having regular ‘catch-up’ sessions with volunteers, a suggestion that was raised by Not-for-profit Law Training during the session. Before taking up Not-for-profit Law’s suggestion, she had a challenging relationship with one volunteer due to miscommunication. Now, thanks to regular catch-up sessions, she’s repaired that relationship for the good of the organisation.

Sherileigh enthusiastically recommends Not-for-profit Law Training to other organisations: “Thanks to what we learned at NFP Law Training, we’re more confident in what we’re doing, can deliver our services better and volunteers feel happier, safer and valued.”

 

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