The Bundaberg Neighbourhood Centre services the Bundaberg region and surrounding areas

About the Initiative

As part of the Queensland Government’s Covid-19 recovery plan, Volunteering Queensland is delivering the UNITE AND RECOVER: Neighbourhood and Care Army Connect Workers Initiative (NCAC), a statewide program in partnership with Care Army and the Queensland Government.

The Unite and Recover: Neighbourhood and Care Army Connect Workers Initiative has placed 15 dedicated Connect Workers in 15 neighbourhood and community centres across the state.

The Connect Workers are set to identify needs for volunteer support within local volunteer involving organisations (VIOs), connecting them with Care Army Volunteers. They will support the VIOs in building their capacity and capability utilising Care Army volunteers. These volunteers will assist in delivery of support services to vulnerable members of their community affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In facilitating this, The Initiative will:

  • increase accessibility of services for communities in high need.
  • effectively support VIOs with the recruitment, management, and retention of volunteers.
  • place Care Army volunteers with organisations requiring assistance to deliver essential services.
  • reduce social isolation experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • present substantial volunteer opportunities across Queensland thus improving the volunteering rate.

How to participate

  • If you are already registered as a Care Army Volunteer, your local Connect Worker will contact you about volunteering opportunities as they arise in your region.
  • If you  are interested in participating and are not yet a Care Army Volunteer, please register your interest.   
  • If you are an organisation in one of the listed regions and would like to request volunteers, register here.

Care Army Background

The Care Army was established in early 2020 as the Queensland Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic with the aim of supporting Queensland’s older and vulnerable citizens. Support was available to community members who found themselves isolated and in need of assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic lock downs. Over 29,000 individuals from across Queensland registered their interest to volunteer.

Many volunteer involving organisations (VIOs) experienced a decline in volunteer numbers but an increase in demand for their services and expressed interest in engaging additional volunteers through the Care Army. This scenario highlighted the need to support organisations to effectively mobilise and manage additional volunteers, and to reduce barriers regarding engagement and retention of new volunteers. 

Bundaberg Neighbourhood Centre

The Bundaberg & District Neighbourhood Centre (BNC) serves the community by acting as a hub for information, advice, and referrals for those needing a range of support services.

Our direct services and interagency connections ensure we are able to provide comprehensive support services.

The BNC was initially established under the auspice of Lifeline in 1989. The centre was officially opened on the 8th August that year by Hon. Craig Sherrin, Minister for Family Services, alongside the project’s local energiser, Rev. Rob Evans of Lifeline.

Although under the auspice of Lifeline, the centre operated with its own committee and was considered to be its own entity in principle.

Having become established as a vital community service, on the 23rd July,1992, the BNC became incorporated in its own right and officially became an independent entity.

Contact

Birgit Merkel
Neighbourhood and Care Army Connect Worker
Bundaberg Neighbourhood Centre
111 Targo Street, Bundaberg, 4670
(07) 4153 1614
birgit.merkel@volunteeringqld.org.au

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