Volunteering WA to undertake research into aged care settings


Image: Minister Murray presenting the Lotterywest funding.
Pictured: Dr Megan Paull (Murdoch University), Seniors and Ageing and Volunteering Minister Mick Murray, Tina Williams (CEO, Volunteering WA), and David Morrison (Chair, Volunteering WA). 

As part of the State's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Volunteering WA has received a Lotterywest grant to conduct research into volunteering within aged care settings.

In partnership with Murdoch University, the objective of the project is to facilitate knowledge sharing on changes to volunteer programs in the aged care sector during COVID 19 and to develop a range of good practice guides for volunteering in aged care settings.

Tina Williams, Volunteering WA CEO:

“Aged care has been a focus during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly because of the vulnerability of our senior population.  Seniors represent a significant part of our volunteer workforce and this was majorly disrupted during the pandemic leading to increased isolation and poor mental health”

“How we support our most vulnerable people (including our aged communities) is critical for social wellbeing and a thriving Western Australia. Our research partnership with Murdoch University is made possible with funding from Lotterywest, and aims to support volunteering within our aged populations and ultimately enrich the lives of our senior generations."

Throughout this project, we will be working closely with the sector, and several aged care providers including MercyCare, Juniper, COTA and Southcare.

Comments attributed to Seniors and Ageing and Volunteering Minister Mick Murray:

"Volunteers are the lifeblood of a great many organisations, so investment in research and training is essential in order to support them to work effectively.

"It's estimated that up to six hundred thousand Western Australians regularly put their hands up to help out every year, and those people make an estimated annual economic and social contribution of around $39 billion.

"This funding will ensure volunteers receive the training and support necessary to undertake their invaluable volunteering roles.

"The State Government and Lotterywest are proud to support community projects like these that help to build a better Western Australia."

Dr Megan Paull, Murdoch University:

"Initial evidence gathering in the sector by Volunteering WA and Murdoch University indicated some of the changes to the management of volunteers in aged care (including to recruitment and retainment, training, communications, safety precautions and PPE use) brought about by the pandemic, will likely be ongoing, if not permanent.''

“Key to the ongoing successful involvement of volunteers in aged care settings will be widespread understanding of good practice and one way to achieve this is to facilitate knowledge sharing between organisations in the sector.’’