The WayFairer Project: Frequently Asked Questions
What is a WayFairer?
If you want to get involved in the community or volunteer at a community club or group, you could be a WayFairer. WayFairers are people, 50 years or older who we create opportunities to use their experience, skills, passions and interests to give back to the community in which they live.
What is the WayFairer project?
The WayFairer project is where we work with local governments, community members and organisations to ‘match’ experienced individuals living in the area to community clubs/groups that need help.
How does the WayFairer project work?
The WayFairer Project will strategically utilise the knowledge, talents, skills, experience and interests of residents aged 50 -70 (WayFairers) and create a profile for those individuals. Next, a gap analysis will be completed with community groups to understand what challenges they are faced with and the skills/roles needed to strengthen the organisation and their standing in the community.
By matching the WayFairers with the right community groups, WayFairers can use their knowledge in a meaningful capacity and help the community by gifting their time.
What is “profiling”?
The profiling process is how we get to know the WayFairer and what they have done throughout their lives, their experiences, skills, attributes, talents and interests. Focusing on the WayFairer helps us to understand what opportunities would be best for them to explore and then provide them with the best ‘match’.
What is “matching”?
Matching is our way of ensuring the WayFairer and the community club/group or organisations are the “best fit “for each other – the community club/group has opportunities and is ready and eager to get an interested/skilled volunteers and to ensure the WayFairer is gifting their time in an appropriate, meaningful and enjoyable way. The process involves getting to know our WayFairers and clubs through tailored questions and catch ups, as well as using specifically engineered software to help find the best opportunities for the WayFairer.
What is the “gap analysis”?
Inclusion Solutions in partnership with the Local Government (LGA) will carry out a Gap Analysis to identify what trends and shortfall are impacting community clubs/groups to ensure individuals are matched with the right club ( to fill those gaps). This also allows the LGA we work with to know how to direct future funding to appropriate initiatives after the project (as all clubs and groups will have the opportunity to have their say in the process). This will also facilitate a better connection with the LGA and their community.
Who do you work with?
Inclusion Solutions works in partnership with local governments and other organisations who understand the impact and importance our aging demographic has on society. These partnerships bring together a thorough understanding of communities and the significant social impact older adults can have on communities across Australia.
How much time would I need to give if I were to commit to the WayFairer Project?
What time you commit is flexible – it depends on your availability and the requirements of the community group. The amount of time and specific hours will be will be determined as part of the process with the WayFairer (you) and the suitable community group.
Is there a minimum age requirement?
There is no minimum age or maximum age requirement. If you would like to gift your time, you are welcome to express your interest, however the WayFairer project does focus on opportunities for people who are 50 years or older.
Do I have to be retired?
No, however retirees are encouraged to be involved as they may have increased capacity.
Will I receive support when I am placed with a local club/organisation?
Yes, we are here to support you. Initially you will have the support of the WayFairer Project team, following which, a local coordinator will ensure you are welcomed and included in the club, group or organisation.
Is it free to participate as a WayFairer in this project?
Yes, 100% free to participate (except for donating your valuable volunteering time)!
This framework delivers significant outcomes for people which include:
- Mental and physical stimulation
- Social connection
- Sense of belonging
- Sense of contribution
For the broader community, this frameworks results in:
- Addressing real community gaps
- Improvements in social connectedness
- Increase in community safety
- Significant economic returns
- Decrease in social isolation
- Increased sense of community pride and community satisfaction
“Hi, my name is Derek Bond and when I was in my final year of employment at ECU, I had the good fortune to attend a ‘retirement planning’ seminar that was conducted by Andrew Kikeros from Life Time Wise. The focus of the workshop was to help individuals understand the role in which paid work has shaped their identity and how to replace the intrinsic benefits of paid work (purpose, meaning, connection) with life after they leave.
In the afternoon session there were various invited guest speakers and one of them was Denver D’Cruz from Inclusion Solutions. I was very impressed with the philosophy of the organization – ‘enriching communities through social inclusion’ – and what Denver had to say. I requested and retained Denver’s business card and when I retired, I contacted Inclusion Solutions to see if there were any volunteer positions.
I was made very welcome and valued. Following a consultation with Inclusion Solutions, where they got to know me, the process of volunteering commenced with ease. I was tasked with researching individual case studies (people who wanted advice for recreational possibilities to suit their individual needs), and assisting on a larger/macro level with researching and creating data bases that was relevant to the overall work/mission of Inclusion Solutions. These roles were specifically of interest to me and aligned well with my skills in research and information gathering.
The work was challenging (learning to use different Search Engines for the research side), and very fulfilling knowing that I was playing a role in helping people across WA be ‘socially included’. What was ideal for me and my personal situation, was that I could do the work in my own time as I was not bound to set hours and I could carry out the tasks from anywhere. My wife and I split our time between Perth and Sweden each year and this role made it feasible for me to stay connected and have purpose even whilst away in Sweden.
I can sincerely recommend the notion of personalised and skill-related volunteer work – it is a way of ‘giving back’ and it certainly helped me significantly in the initial stages of my retirement. I am very pleased and grateful for the opportunities that were given to me – and appreciate the wonderful support of the entire team!”
– Derek Bond, Volunteer