Volunteer Centre News Update – week beginning 19 September 2022

Welcome to the latest edition of the Volunteer Centre News Update. Remember that you can contact us with your thought and ideas about what you would like to see here. Your feedback is always appreciated.

Volunteers Support Royal Mourners

Hundreds of volunteers from across the UK supported mourners as they queued to see Queen Elizabeth II lying in state at Westminster Hall.

Organisations such as St John Ambulance, British Red Cross, The Samaritans, and the Salvation Army had volunteers offering help and support to people right along the queue to see the Queen, which is reported at one point to have reached 10 miles long. They provided medical help, directions, stewarding, and more.

It just goes to show how vital volunteers are at all levels of life, public and private.

Volunteer Health & Safety

Recent big events, such as the Queen’s lying in state, and the Commonwealth Games, received huge support from volunteers and would not have run as well without them. But whether big or small, all volunteering activities should be safe.

Although most health and safety legislation only applies to paid staff, all volunteers should be protected from risks too. It is not as onerous as it might appear, and often simple steps can be taken to ensure that your events and activities run smoothly.

NCVO offers a very clear and concise breakdown of health & safety responsibilities HERE. It is a nice, easy ready and if you do have questions or would like any support around any aspect of health & safety for your organisation and its activities, you can contact Lancaster District CVS.

Can you offer a volunteer role to someone with limited English language skills?

Is your organisation ready to recruit volunteers with limited English language skills? Our Lancaster community is host o a growing number of refugees and asylum seekers and a huge number of them want nothing more than to contribute to their new home. Sometimes that can be a challenge because English might not be their first, second, or even third language.

The Volunteer Centre would like to curate a range of volunteer roles where someone with limited English might still be able to contribute. Such roles would allow people who are perhaps new to our district to experience and practice using English in real world situations. The chance to help at a local organisation would also help them to feel part of the community.

If you have such a role, let us know. You can email [email protected] with details.

“When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”

– Maya Angelou


Latest Volunteer Roles

There are a number of new volunteer roles on our website, including a community engagement role with The Bay: A Blueprint for Recovery; a tree planting volunteer role with the Wyre Rivers Trust to support natural flood management; Match Day Experience volunteer and Match Day Mascot volunteer roles with Morecambe FC; various roles with CancerCare, including accounting, driving, and more; and Nature Trail and Spud Club volunteers at Claver Hill.

Click the links in the text for more information and to register interest.

Spotlight on Light Up Lancaster

Light Up Lancaster is an ambitious, creative community project for one of the central locations, Market Square. Along with artists, Shane Johnstone and Anna Read, and a team of experienced lantern makers, members of the public and community organisations will create an illuminated, monumental structure, which will be a highlight of LUL 2022.

In the darkened square, we hear a Maltese lament played on an accordion. A colossal human figure, a giant lantern sculpture sits chin on hand on the plinth, exhausted and in contemplation, waiting for something, possibly a message from home or maybe just for something to change.

Gradually the space fills with white illuminated birds, doves, carrier pigeons with messages attached. One special red pigeon alights upon the hand of the figure which becomes animated and slowly rises.

The musical tempo increases slightly to a slow folk dance, more and more birds swirl around the plinth. The figure rises, elevated to 3 metres by a small scissor lift, and its internal illumination intensifies from a dim glow to bright white with a red glow at its heart. As the figure rises, up to 8 guy ropes are also elevated, each with 4 -6 illuminated birds hanging along its length.

At the climax the figure also dances and all the birds colour change in pulsing multicolours. The folk dance becomes faster, louder and raucous, all our performers the figure and the audience dance together.

Does the above vision interest you? Then click HERE to find out more and register as a volunteer lantern maker and performer.

Recruit and Manage Volunteers Online

How Does it Work?

Simply register as an opportunity provider HERE, then LOG-IN to access the dashboard. Once logged in you will be able to add new roles, manage existing ones, see volunteer profiles, send messages to volunteers, issue instructions, assign shifts and hours, and a lot more.

You may just want to use it as a simple promotional tool for your volunteer roles, and that’s just fine. We currently see a lot of visits to this site from people looking for new volunteering opportunities, and of course once it is on the site our Volunteer Centre team will be able to promote your roles in person when meeting potential volunteers, at events, on our social media, and in this bulletin!

For Volunteers

Using our platform, volunteers can: apply for or join opportunities; create a profile; track achievements; add CPD and qualifications; track opportunities attended; log hours. They can search for opportunities by keyword; categories; activities; distance and dates, and more.

For Organisations

Organisations can: create an organisation profile; create opportunities; manage unlimited volunteers; group volunteers; request references; access automated emails; upload documents; restrict opportunities; share the opportunity onto social media; link externally to your own website, and more.

Contact Us

If you need support with any aspect of volunteering or volunteer recruitment, from developing a policy to creating an impactful role description, or if you want to have something featured in this newsletter, please contact Mark Waddington either by telephone on 01524 555900 or by email at [email protected].

You can visit out website at www.lancastercvs.org.uk. Follow us on social media at www.twitter.com/LancasterCVS or www.facebook.com/LancasterCVS