Flying Fox’s Innovative E-Training Platform Passes With Flying Colours
Young people with disabilities were the real winners when Flying Fox won a $45,000 grant from Telematics to establish an online volunteer-training platform.
The people at Flying Fox are on a mission to bring young people with disabilities and the community together.
Flying Fox is an organisation of compassionate and energetic people, who take the matter of fun very seriously. They host sleepaway camps in country Victoria where children with disabilities are paired with volunteer buddies who support them to engage in a range of exciting activities. They also organise weekly hangouts, from dinner parties and games nights to excursions to events happening in the city.
The backbone of the Flying Fox model is the incredible grassroots group of volunteers who power all of their camps and programs. Since being founded in 2014, Flying Fox has trained over 700 volunteers. All buddies undergo extensive preparation to develop the tools to support their campers to thrive.
Unsurprisingly, the task of training volunteers is complex and resource-intensive. With all Flying Fox programs oversubscribed and the demand for remote training amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, Flying Fox was in urgent need of an online platform.
In 2022, the Telematics trust awarded Flying Fox $45,000 grant to revolutionise their training process. According to Flying Fox, the project has been a “great success”.
The new online training platform is now live, with two essential modules available to volunteers. With the grant from Telematics, Flying Fox has funding to upload 10 to 15 further modules. Pretty soon, the volunteer training system will be totally online, with the flexibility for Flying Fox to add and amend modules as needed.
So far, over 300 volunteers have completed the online training, with another 200 expected to be trained by the end of 2023. Thanks to the ease of the online system, all volunteers have now completed epilepsy training (which, previously, was an optional extra training unit), and parents of children with epilepsy are grateful that all volunteers are qualified to administer first aid to a child experiencing a seizure.
Having streamlined their training, Flying Fox can ensure the quality, consistency and integrity of training for all volunteers. They can track what training volunteers have completed through the online system, and update modules to ensure training is up-to-date, purpose-driven and includes emerging best-practices. Plus, feedback collected from staff and volunteers who have completed the training can be easily incorporated across the board. Volunteers feel more confident knowing they have the skills to provide exceptional support, and the parents of young people enrolled rest easy knowing that all buddies have received the same high-quality training.
The benefits of the grant will not only be felt by the happy campers at Flying Fox. Flying Fox hopes to extend access to the training platform to other charities and disability groups, several of which have already expressed an interest.
When asked about the success of the program, Dean Cohen, the CEO of Flying Fox, had this to say:
“The support from the Telematics Trust has provided Flying Fox with an opportunity to build our technology solutions that have improved our training dramatically. We train young adults to support people with disability on fun and social sleep-away camps. The training is expansive and detailed, and needs to be conveyed in a comprehensive and professional manner. The Telematics Trust has ensured that Flying Fox can deliver on that requirement and to deliver world-class training for our volunteers.
We are forever grateful! Thank you!”