In celebration of National Volunteer Week, we want to acknowledge all our young people who regularly engage in volunteering opportunities as part of Ladder programs.

Volunteering is an activity embedded in our programs that provides our young people the opportunity to engage with their local community and make a difference. Some activities the young people have volunteered for this year include providing care packs for people experiencing homelessness, returning as alumni to support the delivery of Ladder programs, representing Ladder at events, assisting Ladder at community engagement activities and preparing meals for those doing it tough in their local community.

Recently, we spoke to one young person, Rachel who had volunteered at the local community centre, together with their Ladder Development Coaches and other program participants, by preparing and cooking meals. This was a really rewarding experience for both young people and staff.

Not only does it provide a stronger connection to the community, but our young people also build independent living skills by being in the kitchen as well as having learned how to play a role and work within a team.

"It gives me skills of cooking and it is also helping other people which makes you feel good" Rachel said.

In one Ladder program alone, 150 meals were prepared by our young people for their local community.

We asked Rachel what their advice would be to other people who are thinking about volunteering. Rachel said, 

"It is a nice thing to do for other people and you can learn at the same time".

We would also like to take this week to recognise all of the volunteers who support Ladder and assist us to continuing to support the young people in our programs.