Community Friend Program

Volunteer and make a meaningful difference to someone’s life

The Community Friend Program (CFP) is a social support service for people with a mild/moderate disability.

The program gives people the opportunity to access the community, make new friends and enjoy socialising and getting out and about.

Volunteering with the Community Friend Program can enrich both your life and the life of a person with a disability through:

One-to-one friendships: You can be matched to one person who is looking for friendship and social support. This involves getting together for a few hours on a weekly or fortnightly basis to enjoy a variety of activities together. The activities and times are chosen by the volunteer and the participant, according to what they enjoy doing. The one-to-one matches are generally an ongoing friendship.

Monthly social groups: Volunteers who have been accepted into the program for a one-to-one friendship match, may also choose to put their name down as a potential fill-in volunteer for one of the Community Friend Program's monthly social groups. The program organises regular social groups that are facilitated by a team of two volunteers. These groups get together once a month to enjoy a social activity such as bowling, a movie, going to the city, or just getting together for coffee and a chat.

Regions Covered
The Community Friend Program works in the cities of Banyule, Yarra, Darebin, Moreland, Brimbank, Boroondara, Whitehorse, Monash, and Maroondah. If you do not live in one of these regions, however would not mind travelling, the Community Friend Program may still suit you.

Want to become a Community Friend Program volunteer?

What commitment is required to become a Community Friend Volunteer?

  • Be able to commit to the role for 12 months
  • Be able to commit 2–3 hours a fortnight for a one-to-one friendship match
  • Undergo a National Police Check. If you have lived outside of Australia for longer than 12 months in the past 10 years, you will need to provide Melbourne City Mission with an International Police Check.
  • Meet with the Community Friend Program staff at our Fitzroy North office for an initial interview
  • Maintain contact with the facilitator.

What skills does a Community Friend Volunteer require?

  • Commitment and reliability are extremely important
  • Good social skills – being a good role model
  • The ability to focus on others’ needs
  • An understanding of the importance of friendship and social connection

Will I receive support?
Yes. Our Community Friend Program staff support and appreciate their volunteers. Various training programs are offered twice yearly and newsletters are provided. Support is only a telephone call away, or you could arrange to meet for a catch-up.

What type of disabilities do participants of the Community Friend Program have?
Community Friend Program participants may have a mild/moderate disability of any kind: physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, developmental or acquired brain injury.

Why is the role of Community Friend Volunteers so important?
Our volunteers help provide social opportunities and support to people living with a disability whom otherwise may be socially isolated. Participants may lack confidence to go out on their own, be unsure of public transport or how to find friends. As a result they may become isolated and find they have little to look forward to. Participants may also be unsure of how to make contact with people of similar interests.

What is the age range of Community Friend Program participants?
The Community Friend Program participants are aged from between 18 to 64. The majority of our participants are aged between their late 20’s and 50’s.

The Community Friend Program is jointly funded by the Victorian and Australian Governments, through Home and Community Care (HACC).

Listed below, you will find some quotes from a few of our volunteers. Here's what they have to say about their volunteering experience with our Community Friend Program:

Girl with black hair on left (volunteer) pictured beside woman with a disability with blonde hair'Being a volunteer with Melbourne City Mission has honestly been a gift in itself. Spending time with her has never felt like work and I love what our friendship has grown into.'

'Assisting others to enjoy everyday activities, which takes only a small amount of my time makes me appreciate life more.'

'The importance of just being a friend who shares the ups and downs, a contribution from the heart makes anyone feel important.'

Man with white shirt (volunteer) pictured beside a man with a disability wearing a blue tshirt'It’s great to see the enthusiasm of the group when they come to events and see us. Over the years the relationships have built to meaningful friendships and the guys feel open talking with us.'

'I’m proud that I can help others enjoy the everyday activities we take for granted.'

'Getting an insight into someone's life – what really matters'.

'It makes you realise what is important – very grounding.'

If you’d like to get involved, please contact a member of our Community Friend Program on 03 9487 9245. Alternatively, please fill in the enquiry form found in the 'how to apply' section.

Note: All enquiries will be responded to on Monday 9th April.

  • Please contact a Community Friend Program Co-ordinator on 03 9487 9245 so we can discuss the program and you can ask any questions you may have. If you fill out the Community Friend Program enquiry form we will then make contact with you.
  • After we have spoken to you, we will send you a Position Description, our booklet 'Information for Potential Volunteers', and an application form.
  • Upon receiving your completed application form, we will schedule a time for you to come in to talk about the program and your interest in becoming a volunteer, at our office in Fitzroy North. This normally takes around an hour.
  • You will need to undergo a National Criminal History Record Check. If you have lived outside of Australia for longer than 12 months in the past 10 years, you will need to provide Melbourne City Mission with an International Police Check.

Enquire about becoming a volunteer with our Community Friend Program

Where did you hear about us?

I am 18 years or over?