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Prison Network | Volunteer Craft & Cooking Team Leader – DPFC Position Available

PURPOSE 

The purpose of Craft and Cooking is to provide a space in which we build connections with women in prison and genuine relational support post-release. These connections through our programs focus on building trust, self-esteem, self-awareness and provide relational spaces for living skills to be modelled and learnt by the women in prison and hopefully implemented in the community upon release. 

The activities enable the women to explore their creative potential and assist women in forming positive self-image by completing crafts successfully and giving them a sense of accomplishment. By introducing various hobbies, crafts, snacks, and recreational activities which can also be carried out post-release, Prison Network and its volunteers hope to be a positive influence in the lives of the women and journey with them on their road to recovery. 

Desired outcomes for the women: 

  • Women discover their artistic talents 
  • Women have learnt to work as a team and alongside others 
  • Women have developed problem solving skills 
  • Women have increased positive mental health and positive self-image 
  • Women receive encouragement 
  • Women have something to look forward to 
  • Women hand make and create gifts that can be sent home to nuture family ties and connections 

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES 

The Craft and Cooking Team Leader is a good listener, has good communication skills and demonstrates self-awareness. They are self-motivated and understand and agree to the vision, mission and values of Prison Network. 

Reliability is key. All our volunteers are polite and friendly to Prison Staff and help foster a positive relationship between Prison Network and the Prison. 

Duties include but are not limited to: 

  • Organise and communicate volunteer rosters to the team 
  • Prepare and plan crafts 
  • Complete and email gatelist and volunteer names to the prison 
  • Work with the Program Manager and other craft team leaders to manage and procure materials for the program 
  • Have knowledge of the rules and regulations around what can and can’t be brought into the prison 
  • Prepare appropriate numbers of materials for each craft 
  • Transport the materials to the prison 
  • Sign in the materials and equipment at the gatehouse 
  • Set up the materials in an engaging way to facilitate a smooth and enjoyable program 
  • Ensure the sign in sheet is completed by all participants 
  • Teach the women in the prison and the volunteers any instructions needed for each craft
  • Coach volunteers on appropriate behaviors and language if required 
  • Oversee the activity, providing help and encouragement as needed 
  • Keep track of materials and equipment throughout the program, especially equipment that needs to be checked out eg. scissors 
  • With the help of volunteers pack away materials at the end of the program 
  • Sign out remaining materials and equipment before leaving the prison 
  • Pray for the women inside, the volunteers and Prison Network 

COMMITMENT 

Craft and Cooking at DPFC is held every Tuesday afternoon and is a weekly commitment. 

New volunteers will have a probationary period of 3 months to ensure they are well suited to the work and the team. During this time, volunteers may meet with the Volunteer Manager for encouragement, training, and issue(s) resolution if necessary. We ask volunteers to make a minimum commitment of 12 months. 

All volunteers commit to attend any training sessions provided by Prison Network and must undergo a Police Check (at their own expense) and have a current Working with Children’s Check. 

All Craft and Cooking volunteers must read the Volunteer Induction User Guide and sign the Code of Conduct. 

If the Team Leader is unable to attend a particular week, the Team Leader is to provide as much notice as possible and work with the Program Manager to fill the role when needed. 

DESIRED ATTRIBUTES AND SKILLS 

The Team Leader role requires the person to be: 

  • Flexible 
  • Discerning 
  • Socially aware and wise 
  • Secure 
  • Warm 
  • Genuine 
  • Non-judgmental 
  • Accepting 
  • Compassionate 
  • Mature sense of humour! 

The volunteer in this role needs to be comfortable in one-to-one and/or small group conversation in what can be a challenging environment. The ability to make connections with women through encouragement and support is vital. 

Having knowledge and skills of various craft activities is desirable. 

LIMITATIONS 

Volunteers do not provide legal advice and are not a replacement for counselling and other professional interventions. They will not use the opportunity to proselytise as this is against the current legislation. They will not get involved in prison politics and will leave any dispute resolution with the prison for Prison Network staff to manage. They will keep all information and personal details acquired confidential. They will not speak on behalf of Prison Network to any form of media including social media. 

Volunteers will be reimbursed for approved out-of-pocket expenses (except for travel to and from the prison).

CONDITIONS 

Volunteers will be required to disclose any criminal offence history and undergo a criminal record check. A prior criminal record will not automatically disqualify a person from becoming a craft volunteer but will need to be declared and considered. 

DESIRABLE 

Some existing knowledge of local community services, referral pathways and the criminal justice system would be a great advantage. Being creative and having craft skills is a requirement for the team leader but not a prerequisite for the other volunteers. We encourage applicants from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. 

REPORTS AND COLLEAGUES 

Sarah Charles is the Prison Network Program Manager and oversees all programs and to whom the Team Leader will report regarding Program related issues. 

Andrea Steele is the Volunteer Manager and oversees all of the Prison Network volunteers and to whom the Team Leader will report regarding volunteer related issues. Contact Andrea for more information or to apply by emailing her at asteele@prisonnetwork.org.au.

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