Become a Group61 "Friend"

Group61-Wesley Mission

Group61 is a volunteer mental health social inclusion program. Become a volunteer and be matched to a friend (who has a lived experience of mental illness) to develop a friendship and attend weekly outings for two hours/week to reduce social isolation. This opportunity suits students volunteering.


Availability: Underway

Time required: 2 hours per week

Duration: 50 weeks

Gold Coast, Brisbane regions

Requires face to face contact: Yes



• Enhance quality of life through friendship.
• Build and strengthen the friends life skills and self confidence.
• Build and strengthen the friends social community connections.
• Raise awareness of mental health within the wider community.


The main outcome of Group61 is that the friendship has a positive impact on both the friend and volunteer, and from regular, consistent contact there is a reduction of social isolation for the friend.

Volunteers maintain regular contact with the Area Coordinator so ongoing support can be provided for the friendship. As the friendship develops there is consistency and regular contact between the friend and volunteer.

Needs to be addressed

Group61 addresses a variety of needs of mental health within the community, such as:
• Social Inclusion
• Belonging
• Connections to the community
• Enhancement in quality of life
• Equality and respect
• Reduction of stigma with mental health.

There are opportunities to volunteer across Gold Coast and Brisbane regions.

Skills Required of project members:
- Excellent communication skills, including verbal, listening and written
- Commitment, consistency and reliability
- Empathy
- Non-Judgemental
- Computer skills, including excel and email
- Networking skills (for Area Coordinator)

Benefits to students

- Make a significant impact to a person's life through 2 hours of contact per week.
- Be involved in providing someone with a meaningful friendship and see first hand the impact that social isolation (due to an experience of mental illness) has on a person and how their act of friendship can impact a person's life.
- Gain an understanding of mental health within the community.
- Enhance your communication skills.

Group61 is very flexible and offers volunteering opportunities across any 7 days of the week, supporting students around their study and other commitments they may have.

Other roles are available in Group61, such as Social Event Coordinators (2 hours per week - see separate Live Ideas project listing for details).

Volunteer opportunities across Gold Coast and Brisbane regions.


Southern Cross University

Assistance in promoting the program to recruit volunteers and referrals to the program.
To inform other organisations about Group61 and what it offers the community.


Brochures, posters, flyers
Face to face contact with participants
Mandatory Training
On going support for those involved in the program
Deliver Information Sessions on Campus to people interested in volunteering