Volunteer Centre News Update – week beginning 8 August 2022

WELCOME to the first edition of the Volunteer Centre Update. We are trying something a little different and hope to bring you volunteering news, resources, hints and tips, trivia, and more every two weeks.

This update will replace the weekly Volunteer Centre section in the CVS Bulletin and we want it to be as helpful to you as possible, so if you have anything that you want to put in it, or if you’d like to see more of something, email: [email protected]

Tempo Time Credits

Time Credits are an excellent way to reward volunteers. Easy to register, you can give one credit per hour of volunteering, or per session, or per day, the choice is yours. Time Credits can be saved up and even given to other family members or friends, to be used at venues across the country. In Lancaster for example they can be used at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre, among other places, and further afield venues as diverse as Blackpool Tower and The Tower of London accept them.

Lancaster District CVS Volunteer Centre gives Time Credits to potential volunteers who register on our online hub, and also when they start a new volunteering role found through our service.

You can find out more about Tempo Time Credits by watching this short video…

Who volunteers in Big Local communities, what they do, and why?

A recent report goes in-depth about residents of Big Local areas, such as Morecambe’s West End, looking
at why they get involved in local volunteering and what they do to support their communities. Big Local is a resident-led funding programme providing groups of people in 150 areas in England with £1.15m each, to
spend across 10 to 15 years to bring about lasting change in their neighbourhoods.

The almost 70 page report covers all kinds of interesting stuff including the types of people who volunteer,
the skills that are used, the importance of community hubs, time commitments, what works when working with volunteers, and more, when considering the over 6,500 volunteering roles across all the Big Local communities in the country. If you would like to read the full report, you can download it HERE.

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention”

Oscar Wilde


New Opportunity

The most recent opportunity uploaded to our website is for a canteen volunteer at The Friendship Centre in Lancaster, serving teas and coffees to the over 55s on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This might be one person doing all three days or different people on different days. You can see the role, and apply, HERE.

Encouraging Young People in Volunteering

Many organisations only recruit volunteers aged 18 and over and there are varying reasons for this, from insurance issues to safeguarding concerns. But we would like to hear from you if your organisation would be interested in taking volunteers between the ages of 14 and 18.

Schemes like the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award require young people to complete several weeks’ worth of volunteering, and many schools and colleges encourage students to volunteer to build skills and gain experience. Right now we’re not asking you to register roles for young volunteers, just to let us know if you would be interested in having younger volunteers as part of your team. And if the answer is no, please could you spare a moment to tell us what your concerns around young volunteers are?

You can email [email protected]

Volunteering Together: Inclusive Volunteering and Disabled People

Spirit of 2012 Trust have published a report by Kim Donahue, Véronique Jochum, Daiga Kamerāde and Christine Goodall. Unpicking ‘Understanding Society’ data on volunteering rates between disabled and non-disabled people, and supplementing that with a range of case studies.

The report provides a much better understanding of who disabled volunteers are, as well as understanding their experiences.

Whether you are starting to think about how to improve the inclusiveness of your volunteering offer, or already leaders of best practice, hopefully this report will give you inspiration. You can see the full report HERE.

Top Tips

Recruiting safely – when thinking about a new role for a volunteer, before you start to recruit, make sure you know the following:

  • What tasks will the volunteer undertake?
  • What specific skills, experience or qualities are needed to ensure this is undertaken safely?
  • What level of ongoing support and direct supervision will the role have from your organisation?
  • Does the role include engagement in likely distressing or emotionally demanding activities? What qualities and resilience are needed to manage this well given the support provided?
  • Whether this is a short-term or long-term and how frequently someone will undertake the role

Ready? Register a role on our website, HERE

Volunteer Focus

Hannah volunteers with Let’s Be Friends and enjoys providing company and support for people facing homelessness issues. “I find it most rewarding being able to use my lived experience to help others battling addiction struggles and provide living proof that recovery is possible with the right support in place,” she says. A personal milestone in her recovery was spending a recent weekend at a music festival dancing and enjoying live music substance free.

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