Ballarat Community Health (BCH) will host an information session seeking volunteers for an innovative new ‘ambassadors’ program, Voices for Change, at 11.30am on Monday 9th April.
Voices for Change is a program developed by BCH to encourage people with lived experience of social and health issues such as chronic illness, migration, alcohol or drug abuse, homelessness, domestic violence or problem gambling to learn the skills to share their stories to help others.
There is solid research evidence that consumer voices can be a powerful tool in the delivery of public health messages and advocacy around health issues. Speakers bureaus have been established in a range of health areas including: gambling (ReSpin, Gambling Impact Society, Relationships Australia Consumer Voice Program); HIV (Living Positive Victoria, Positive Life NSW); Mental Health (Beyondblue); Hepatitis (Hep Speak Victoria).
Voices for Change will add the local experience to these stories.
Voices for Change participants will support a range of BCH health promotion activities including presentations, programs and media communications. The program not only empowers others, it also empowers the people with the lived experience to engage in training and receive recognition for further employment or study opportunities.
Starting in April 2018, it will involve volunteers with lived experience of specific health and/or social issues to share their experiences and assist in providing health education and information to the wider Ballarat community. The aims of the program are to:
Improve community understanding of key health and social issues and
To involve VFC volunteers in contributing to the planning and promotion of relevant services and programs at BCH