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Volunteers Week live discussions

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Kate Kate 2 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #10693
    Profile photo of Gemma
    Gemma
    Member

    Hi Everyone,

    To celebrate Volunteer’s Week, 1-7 June 2015, we’re holding a series of live chats in the Just Act forum; the focus will be on volunteering, the best ways to inspire and recruit people to get involved and using volunteer’s time in your project.

    We’ll be talking to people who have experience running community projects as volunteers, as well as getting advice from professional volunteer managers. We’ll also be running a session for new volunteer parish councillors to chat, share advice and ask any questions they may have.

    The programme for the week looks like this

    Monday 1 June
    12.30pm Volunteering and community projects

    1pm Recruiting volunteers and making the most of their skills

    Tuesday 2 June
    1pm Volunteering and community projects

    Wednesday 3 June
    12.30pm Volunteering and community projects

    Thursday 4 June
    10.30am New volunteer parish councillors support

    12pm Getting involved as a Community Champion

    Friday 5 June
    1pm Round up of the week and general volunteer support queries

    So, if you’re available at any of these times and are able to join us, we’d love to hear from you; just log in on the day and get involved! And if you’ve got a question or want to share your experience and ideas but you can’t make it at the times of the chats, feel free to leave a comment in the forum and we’ll add it to the discussions.

    Monday’s sessions will be in this thread, but if you’re joining the discussions on a different date you’ll need to click on the thread of the day which will be clearly named in the topic list. If you need any help please just get in touch – communications@cdf.org.uk

    Looking forward to speaking to you all
    Gemma

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by Profile photo of Gemma Gemma.
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    #10776
    Profile photo of Gemma
    Gemma
    Member

    Hi Everyone, and welcome to day one of Volunteers’ Week and our online discussions!

    We’ll be kicking off today at 12.30pm, talking to Kerry-Anne about volunteering and community projects and then we’ll have Kate Shimmell, Volunteer Coordinator at Ilfracombe Town Council answering questions about all things volunteer related.

    We hope you can join us. If you can’t, but you have a question to ask, post it in the thread and we’ll answer it as part of the discussions later on.

    Thanks
    Gemma

    #10779
    Profile photo of Gemma
    Gemma
    Member

    Hello,

    We’ll be ready to start in a couple of minutes, if anyone wants to introduce themselves just say hello!

    We’ll be talking to Kerry-Anne first up.

    #10780
    Profile photo of Kerry-Anne
    Kerry-Anne
    Participant

    Hello everyone!

    Kerry-Anne here 🙂

    #10781
    Profile photo of Gemma
    Gemma
    Member

    HI Kerry-Anne,

    Thanks for coming on today to talk to us!

    Can you tell us a little bit about your project for those who don’t know you, to start with?

    #10782
    Profile photo of Kerry-Anne
    Kerry-Anne
    Participant

    Hello,

    Yeah certainly.

    So I work for a community interest company called Cadence Community Hub. We currently run several projects which benefit the community, all of which concentrate on a social problem that’s in our area of Tyldesley in Greater Manchester.

    We currently run ‘Meaningful Day Opportunities’ for the elderly – it’s similar to a day care centre but it’s a lot more relaxed and engaging.
    We also run CV and employability workshops for the unemployed.
    Also, we work with NEET children (Not in Employment, Education or Training) to get them back on track and re-enagged with something, whether it’s work, further education or just simply volunteering.

    We also run an annual music festival which supports local artists and provides them with a platform to showcase their talent.

    We do quite a lot and focus on several different things.

    #10783
    Profile photo of Gemma
    Gemma
    Member

    That all sounds really exciting and very busy!

    As this week is Volunteers’ Week, we’re focusing our chats on the volunteer aspect of community projects.

    Could you tell us a bit about how you recruit volunteers to work with you? And how you help engage people with volunteering as an opportunity for themselves?

    #10784
    Profile photo of Kerry-Anne
    Kerry-Anne
    Participant

    We use Do-it.org to recruit a lot of our volunteers, especially for big projects like the festival where we need 40+. Do-it.org is a great website where organisations can recruit for volunteers by advertising their opportunities and volunteers can search for opportunities in their local area.

    At Cadence we understand the immense value volunteers have and each volunteering experience with us is designed to fit that persons requirements. For example, if they wish to build employment skills we’d make their opportunity very diverse and would incorporate elements of hospitality, administration and event organising in so they can build skills. Some may just want to have some company and interact with others, so we’d offer them to work within large teams and do engaging activities like crafts or quizzes.

    #10785
    Profile photo of Gemma
    Gemma
    Member

    Ok, great, Have you found any challenges in recruiting volunteers and keeping up their enthusiasm? And if you have, how did you overcome them?

    #10786
    Profile photo of Kerry-Anne
    Kerry-Anne
    Participant

    It’s quite common for volunteers to lose interest, especially as they’re not getting any financial gain. We reimburse volunteers for their expenses such as travel and lunch so it’s not at a financial detriment to them. The best way to keep up their enthusiasm we’ve found is to give them more responsibility such as co-ordinating an activity independently. This makes them feel valued and diversifies their role a little.

    We once had a young volunteer who was NEET who had no interest in volunteering at all, they just came because they had to. What we did was get to know them and ask them what they were interested in. They loved music, so we gave them a ver music orientated role where they had to help out at music events. Because they were doing something they were genuinely interested in, they remained engaged.

    The main thing to remind volunteers of is the amazing job they’re doing and how they’re impacting the community. They’re essentially making a real difference and that’s what they need to be reminded of regularly.

    #10787
    Profile photo of Gemma
    Gemma
    Member

    That’s brilliant advice, thanks Kerry-Anne. I’m sure lots of people will find that useful when working on their projects and recruiting people to help.

    We’re just about out of time I’m afraid, but thank you so much for joining us and giving us an insight into your work.

    If anyone wants to find out more you can read about it in this blog

    Thanks Kerry-Anne – good luck with everything and keep us updated!

    Gemma

    #10789
    Profile photo of Gemma
    Gemma
    Member

    We should have Kate here now, from Ilfracombe Town Council.

    Hi Kate,

    Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do?

    #10790
    Profile photo of Kate
    Kate
    Participant

    Hi everyone

    #10791
    Profile photo of Kate
    Kate
    Participant

    I’m the Volunteer Coordinator for One Ilfracombe and Ilfracombe Town Council

    #10792
    Profile photo of Kate
    Kate
    Participant

    I recruit Volunteers for our projects and events – these can be ongoing or one off activities

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