Assisting regional volunteers through access to technology

Organisation: St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland

Project: Enabling the Information Age

Amount: $16,000

Year of grant: 2016

 Volunteers in regional and remote locations can travel vast distances to provide home visits and emergency relief to people in need. The Society is one of the only charities in Australia that still deliver services through home visitation.

During home visits, volunteers often require access to forms and client databases, as well as general information on local community support services. To ensure the Society’s support for disadvantaged Australians is efficient and effective, it is also critical that volunteers capture local service data that can inform service development. Many of the Society’s aged volunteers have found it difficult to adapt to this change due to their limited IT skills and lack of familiarity with technology.

In May 2016, The John Villiers Trust made a grant of $16,000 to equip and upskill the Society’s aged, regional and remote volunteers with iPads and basic digital literacy training. The Regional Training Package has involved group and one-on-one workshops across the region.

The benefits of the project extends to volunteers, the Society and the broader community. By helping volunteers to feel confident, comfortable and safe using computers and the internet, communities will see improved access to business and job opportunities, health, education and government services. An improved quality of service delivery will also have a positive impact on the 30,000 disadvantaged and vulnerable people the Society assists in the region each year .