Volunteers are vital at the Sammy D Foundation

Honouring Sammy D .jpg
Summer 2019 | Vitality - Volunteering SA NT

With seventy per cent of the vital volunteers at the Sammy D Foundation under the age of 30, it is great to see younger people connecting with their peers.

Ten years ago, Adelaide teenager Sam Davis, 17 was enjoying life and excited to be starting his second season with a local SANFL club, when a violent and unprovoked one-punch assault ended his life. 

Sam’s parents founded the Sammy D Foundation with the aim of preventing such senseless attacks and to educate young people
about the serious consequences of the misuse of alcohol and drugs.

Today, Sam’s message is heard across hundreds of schools, community groups and sporting clubs through education and awareness programs, such as Impact, Party Wise and True Colours. 

The volunteers, many Uni students studying health, social work, psychology and youth work, play a huge role in the delivery of these messages. They join Neil (Sam’s father) and Sammy D Foundation staff to present and run subsequent workshops through the Impact program which focusses on bullying and violence prevention and ‘Party Wise’ which educates students and school leavers (years 9-11) about how to keep celebrations, such as parties, formals and schoolies safer by understanding the effects of alcohol and other drugs.

The Connect mentoring program also has a large contingent of young Uni student volunteers that are matched with children
(8-17 years of age) from low socio economic backgrounds or whose families are impacted by drug and alcohol abuse. They spend a
minimum of six months and up to two years with the same child to be positive role models and provide essential life skills.

Through Government of South Australia funding, further work on bullying prevention is currently being carried out through True
Colours, an educational pilot program with 45 metropolitan and regional schools taking part in the eight week intensive program over the next three years.

For the younger volunteers, to have these experiences and skills added to their resume is a huge bonus when vying for paid positions amongst sometimes hundreds of other people - it really gives them the competitive edge.

For Sammy D Foundation’s General Manager, Brigid Koenig, working with volunteers that are currently studying, she gets to share her skills and knowledge whilst keeping up to date with current trends.

“A great example is our social media volunteer, she can spend more time than we have available to post and interact on the different platforms, and in return she is teaching our team a lot of things that we weren’t aware of. The benefits are mutual and I am so glad that their passion and enthusiasm can lead our volunteers to paid employment and a successful career”, said Brigid.

Joining the Sammy D Foundation ‘family’ as one of their dedicated ambassadors is Sam Jacobs, Adelaide Crows star. As a volunteer
himself, Sam said that he is passionate about the aims and values of this credible organisation.

“I want to play a part in reducing violence in footy and all sports and want to help educate and support young people to make the best decisions, not only for themselves, but for their friends’ too.” said Sam.

Other volunteering positions include fundraising, mentoring, event and marketing assistance and administration.

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