Welcome to the latest edition of the Volunteer Centre News Update. Remember that you can contact us with your thoughts and ideas about what you would like to see here. Your feedback is always appreciated.
Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) – tips for a smoother journey
Our new DBS process has been in place now for a couple of months (you can see details here, including important changes to the costs), and now is a good time to look at some of the potential issues that can slow the process down and cause frustration. Avoiding these is key for ensuring that everything runs smoothly and quickly.
DBS forms are available from the CVS office at the Cornerstone, Dalton Square, Lancaster.
In the past we have issued these forms so that they can be completed prior to any evidence checks taking place, but under our new system the forms MUST be completed at a meeting with CVS staff members present.
This means that if you have any blank forms that CVS have previously sent to you, you can still use them but you must book an appointment to come into the CVS office and bring that form with you, blank.
One of the reasons that we now want forms to be completed in person, on the day of the evidence checks, is to ensure that the date on the form is recent.
If a form is completed, signed, and dated, and then perhaps held on to for weeks or even months before coming in to get the evidence documents checked, the DBS themselves may reject the form because they feel that too long has passed between signing and submitting.
It is very important that the dates of completing and signing the form, and checking the evidence, are as close together as possible.
We can only offer Enhanced DBS checks. To get an Enhanced check, it is important that the role is eligible, as we need to demonstrate to the DBS that the activities involved in the role meet the threshold needed to get an enhanced check done.
It is not correct to say that an enhanced check is for any role dealing with “vulnerable” people, because our definition of vulnerable may not match the definitions set out by the DBS.
Start with the DBS’s own online eligibility toolkit, HERE. Bear in mind that this is a guide.
If the Tool says that the role seems eligible for an enhanced DBS check, you should then consult the eligibility guidance HERE. If the role is working with people aged 18 and over, you should look at the Adult Workforce document. For under 18s it should be the Child Workforce document.
Once you have established that the role is eligible for an enhanced DBS check, you should make an appointment to complete a form and have appropriate evidence documents checked.
To successfully submit a DBS form, CVS staff need to check various documents that show evidence of identity and current address. The list of acceptable documents is very strict.
Before booking an appointment to complete a form, you should check that the person making an application can produce the required documents. If they cannot, we will not be able to process the form.
You can see a full list of eligibility documents HERE. Please note that there are three possible routes, so if someone can’t produce any documents from the Primary Documents list, it still may be possible using additional documents from the other lists. Look at the guidance linked above and please do contact us if you have any questions.
Once you have determined that the role is eligible for an enhanced check, and that the applicant can provide all of the necessary documents, book an appointment with Mark or Yak at Lancaster District CVS.
Appointments are available Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, but alternative arrangements might be made in exceptional circumstances. Email [email protected] or call 01524 555900.
National Trustee Week
7th to 11th November is Trustees’ Week 2022, which is an annual opportunity to celebrate the work of trustees and highlight what trusteeship is all about.
We know that recruiting new trustees for your organisation can be challenging, and this year we will be working with a number of local groups to develop some promotional and awareness-raising materials which we hope will encourage people to at least consider becoming a trustee.
Look out for this on our social media channels during the first two weeks of November. To find out more about Trustees’ Week, you can visit their website HERE.
Closing Loops Project
But what is gleaning? I hear you ask, well . . . Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest. (Thank you Wikipedia).
Jay, the Gleaning Coordinator, would love to hear from anyone who has land and would like to host a glean. And if you would like to get involved in any of the activities listed above, you can contact the team HERE. It’s Diana for the composting; Endar for cooking; Jay for gleaning; Andi for writing or running markets; and Jonnet for REconomy – building the new, regenerative economy.
Closing Loops has some upcoming ‘World Café’ events that you can attend to find out more about how everything works. You can book, free of charge, to attend the events below:
“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house”
The Mayor’s Afternoon Tea – A Celebration of Volunteers
Volunteers were nominated for a place at the Tea by grateful friends, colleagues, and service users. Lancaster District CVS nominated Jenny (pictured, with Yak and Mark) who has done some amazing for this year for her community on the Ryelands estate.
Attendees were treated to some history about Lancaster and the Town Hall from the Mayor’s beadle, Chris Clifford, and a tour of the Mayor’s parlour. Other organisations with volunteers present included St John’s Hospice, Morecambe Winter Gardens, Positive Futures, Caton Friends of Ukraine, and more. Some thoroughly deserved recognition for everyone involved.
We would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who organized the event, from our Mayor, Jenny Kay in the Mayor’s office, Lancaster City Council Chief Executive Mark Davies, all the catering staff, and everyone who made a nomination.
SCOPE need till operators and stock room volunteers; RAIS are looking for volunteers to provide refugee and asylum seeker advocacy and support; Morecambe and Heysham Sea Cadets are looking for a volunteer administrator and a volunteer instructor; The Centre@Halton need volunteers for their coffee shop; Ryelands Junior Park Run need marshalls for their Sunday runs for 4 to 14 year olds; and the NSPCC need schools service volunteers.
You can find out full details, including how to apply, by clicking the links above. In addition to these recent additions, there are dozens of other roles on our website which you can search HERE.
We are starting to get calls from people wanting to volunteer specifically around Christmas and on Christmas Day.
If you are planning any activities around Christmas, or on Christmas Day itself, please do be sure to let us know and register the roles on our website.
We often get an increase in requests for this type of volunteering round about now and there’s a good chance this will continue into November and December.
The Volunteer Centre might be able to help you find volunteers for these activities early. Contact Mark to discuss.
English and Maths Classes at The Cornerstone
Lancashire Adult Learning are offering functional skills English and maths classes at The Cornerstone in Lancaster.
These classes are open to everyone, not just volunteers, but if you or someone that you know might like to take part, you can find out more by contacting Sarah at Lancashire Adult Learning on 07786 197172, or emailing [email protected].
Sports Volunteering Research Network Webinar
The Sports Volunteering Research Network (SVRN) bring together practitioners, researchers and tutors involved in sports volunteering to share information, ideas, and best practice in the research and planning of sports volunteering.
The next SVRN webinar will be held at 12 noon on 2 November, covering topics including engaging LGBTQI+ people in sport volunteering, tips for development of inclusive opportunities, and the impact of the cost of living crisis on volunteering.
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!
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.
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.
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].