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Volunteering

Volunteer Centre

Lancaster District CVS runs a Volunteer Centre for the District, at The Cornerstone on Sulyard Street. This centre provides information and advice about local volunteering opportunities, as well as supporting local not-for-profit organisations find new volunteers.

The Volunteer Centre is open to all, but we work particularly with people who are unemployed and experiencing barriers to work. These barriers could be lack of skills, social isolation, mental or physical ill health, or any number of other things in their lives that are contributing towards their difficulties in finding work.

This particular project is called Strengthening Communities Through Volunteering Lancashire (SCVL) and anyone engaging with it can expect regular one to one support from our SCVL Key Worker, who will work with them to identify these barriers and help them access services to tackle them, with the aim of supporting them towards paid work.

The Strengthening Communities Through Volunteering in Lancashire project aims to boost access to volunteering across Lancashire engaging the most disadvantaged individuals who are removed from the labour market and who would not otherwise participate in such activities. It will provide them with realistic pathways to employment through mentoring, accredited and non-accredited training and access to volunteer placements in the voluntary and community, public and private sectors. Participants on the project are likely to have a number of the following characteristics:

  • Long term unemployed
  • Over 50 years of age
  • Disabilities
  • Women
  • Overcoming drug or alcohol abuse
  • Care responsibilities for children or other adults
  • Economically inactive
  • BME backgrounds
  • Physical or mental health problems
  • Resident in disadvantaged areas
  • Care leavers
  • Lack basic skills
  • Prisoners on release/ex-offenders

This project will use established mechanisms to engage people in volunteering activities, and will provide outreach capability from existing community venues located in areas of disadvantage.

Activity is designed with an emphasis on the volunteer journey and providing wraparound support from initial engagement through to achieving outcomes of work, learning or becoming a peer mentor for future volunteers.

Support For Individuals

Engagement & Referral

  • Engagement  – our key worker  will identify and engage target beneficiaries and act as a case-manager and mentor for the duration of the volunteer journey
  • Referrals – many referral pathways to identify individuals are already established through Pennine Lancashire’s Transforming Lives programme (established multi-agency hubs working with those on the cusp of crisis). These multi-agency locality hubs will make referrals to the programme as part of their stepdown work. In addition links with a range of agencies will be made to develop pathways into the programme, including adults and children’s social services, police, job centres, voluntary sector organisations, probation, Youth Offending Service, and health partners
  • Needs Assessment – every individual engaged with the programme will have a needs assessment to ensure the right training and volunteering activities are sourced, and that the right support is put in place to help every individual achieve their potential

Brokering

  • Individuals will be matched with suitable volunteering opportunities, either in the public sector, voluntary sector or with local businesses
  • Voluntary sector placements will be matched through existing centres operated in the county by the network of Councils for Voluntary Service (CVS) and volunteer centres
  • Structured taster placements will be identified to prepare individuals for the main placement as part of the matching process and to develop their interests and practical skills. They will also make best use of time and reduce barriers to participation, whilst waiting for DBS references and checks

Additional Support will come from a range of sources including:

  1. Wraparound support from National Careers Service officers to guide volunteers’ progress into further learning and work
  2. Continuity of support throughout from a dedicated key worker with mentoring skills who can provide advice and coaching on a range of issues

Volunteering Opportunities

  • This project will help facilitate opportunities available to volunteers in the voluntary sector by engaging them as delivery partners, drawing on their extensive experience of working with disadvantaged people and providing structured support, training, development and placement brokering for volunteers;
  • Opportunities in the public sector will also be opened up for target beneficiaries by linking in closely with the Lancashire Public Service Volunteer Partnership Programme
  • A key area for this project will be creating links with local employers and developing opportunities for volunteer placement within a business setting

Eligibility

To be eligible for support from the Strengthening Communities – Volunteering in Lancashire Project participants must:

  • Be legally able to reside and work in the UK
  • Are resident in Lancashire

The Lancaster Centre is part of a network of Volunteering Hubs supported by Lancashire County Council, ONE Lancashire, and the European Social Investment Fund, to develop a county wide strategic approach to volunteering support across the whole of Lancashire that gives equal opportunity and a benchmarked volunteering standard in each District.

Lancaster District CVS also supports volunteering in the District in the following ways:

  • Hosting an annual Volunteer Achievement Awards ceremony
  • Volunteer Co-ordinators Network (subscribe by emailing markwaddington@lancaster.org.uk)
  • Advice and information with policies around volunteering
  • Training for volunteers and volunteer managers

If you need advice in any of these areas, please contact the Voluntary Sector Development Team on (01524) 555900. For specific volunteering opportunities, please contact the organisations listed below.

If you are interested in volunteering or recruiting volunteers in the District, please contact one of the organisations listed below.

Lancashire Volunteer Partnership

It’s not always easy to decide on what volunteering opportunity is the right one for you, particularly if it is your first time volunteering. But fear not, we are here to help. There are many different reasons that people choose to volunteer and a whole host of benefits that volunteering brings to the individuals helped, the community and the volunteer. It may be that you would like to gain experience in a specific area, or learn and progress in your career; volunteering is a great way of trying something new.

Visit our website www.lancsvp.org.uk  and simply searching by your postcode or town location will bring up all the opportunities available at this time that are close to where you live. Our Volunteer Officers are here to help advise you on what might be the best opportunity to fit with you. To contact them please email: lccvolunteering@lancashire.gov.uk

do-it.org.uk

do-it.org.uk was launched in 2001 with the first national database of volunteering opportunities in the UK. do-it.org.uk is part of the registered charity YouthNet, a non-profit-making organisation. To search for Volunteering Opportunities throughout the country, visit the Do-It website.

vinspired

v is a youth volunteering charity which aims to inspire a new generation of young volunteers by developing volunteering opportunities for young people; running a volunteering opportunities database; distributing certificates of achievement (v50 & vImpact) and offering free training courses.

www.vinspired.com

Volunteering Lancashire

Although there is no ‘Volunteer Centre’ (ie under the Volunteering Lancashire brand) in the Lancaster area, the Volunteering Lancashire website will direct you towards Volunteer Centres and volunteering opportunities in the Lancashire area.

Volunteering Opportunities for Students

Lancaster University

Lancaster University Volunteering Unit, Alexandra Square, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4XX.

Contact Ben Matthews Co-ordinator on 01525 592828, via email or visit the Lancaster University Volunteering Unit website.

University of Cumbria

University of Cumbria Student’s Union Volunteering, University of Cumbria.

Contact Emma Egglestone, Volunteer Co-ordinator by calling (01524) 526577 or emailing emma.egglestone@cumbria.ac.uk. Call in to the Lancaster based Students’ Union for a chat or visit the University of Cumbria Students Union Volunteering website: ucsu.me/volunteering.