It's Volunteers' Week!

Volunteers' Week 2018: recognition, information and celebration

NAVCA members up and down the country are celebrating Volunteers Week 2018, shining a spotlight on the thousands of volunteers that make a difference every day.


Volunteers Week is a great opportunity to say ‘thank you’ but it is also a chance to say ‘hello’ to new volunteers, by showcasing the benefits of volunteering and proving that there really something out there for everyone.


Our members are doing just this, and we are delighted to share some of their planned activities with you. Seen something that catches your eye? You can get in touch with us and we will be happy to link you up with your local infrastructure organisation, or you can contact them directly – just have a look on our ‘Find a member’ page or use the links in the stories below.


  

Awards and information in North Surrey

Voluntary Support North Surrey gathered volunteers together last week to recognise their work at an awards celebration, held in conjunction with Royal Holloway University of London. 


The Spelthorne and Runnymede Volunteer Awards event was attended by more than 200 people, including volunteers within the two boroughs, students at the university and the two Mayors, who presented awards. 


This week, you can catch Voluntary Support North Surrey at a drop-in session to find out about volunteering opportunities close to you: Wednesday 6 June at Staines Library (10am–1pm) and Thursday 7 June at Camberley Library (10am–1pm). Check out the Twitter profile as well for lots of Volunteering Week resources: https://twitter.com/volsupportns


Green fingers in Wessex

Community First in Wessex is getting green fingered this Volunteers Week, encouraging local people to give volunteering a go by creating a community garden. 


The event is supporting a local initiative called The Project, which saves out of date supermarket food from going to landfill. The garden will support local communities by providing a space for them to grow a range of fruit and vegetables. 


It will be a vibrant day of volunteering, taking place on Friday 8 June at The Wickham Centre, Mill Lane, Wickham. More help is needed, so if you are interested in volunteering and would like to get stuck in to building a brilliant community asset, just contact julie.eden@cfirst.org.uk.


A well-deserved day of treats

Volunteer Centre Redbridge is hosting a special ‘thank you’ session for volunteers this week, where they will be refreshed, relaxed, pampered and introduced to a range of new hobbies. Nail painting, meditation, chair-based yoga and flower arranging are just some of the activities planned for the day. Volunteers will also be given help to use mobile phone apps and will be presented with certificates for their contribution. Members of the Volunteer Centre Redbridge team are also speaking at a local further education college to share with students the benefits and rewards of volunteering.


A month of activity

Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action (WCAVA) has a full week of themed activities planned and will continue to celebrate volunteers throughout June. WCAVA kicked off the week with a health and wellbeing theme, and will also focus on youth volunteering, sports and physical activity, heritage and the arts and Employer Supported Volunteering to recognise the many ways that thousands of volunteers contribute to communities across Warwickshire. The activities include a quiz night and volunteer awards across the county. You can find a full list of activities hosted by WCAVA here.


City wide celebrations

The city of Salford is throwing itself into Volunteers Week with volunteer recruitment events, employee volunteering schemes, volunteer celebrations and drop in events. NAVCA member Salford CVS has done a great job of coordinating and compiling a calendar of events, which you can find here.


And the award goes to… 

It’s awards season at Reading Voluntary Action and on the 6 June the Reading Volunteer Awards will recognise and celebrate the extraordinary contribution of volunteers to life in Reading. Find out more about volunteering at RVA here.


People helping people 

York CVS knows that the city’s greatest assets are its people and this Volunteers Week, they are celebrating the thousands of volunteers that offer up their time to help others. As part of its ‘People Helping People’ volunteering strategy, York CVS is holding a celebration and information event on Monday 4 June for People Helping People partner organisations, active citizens and volunteers across the city. Find out more and book your space here.


A year long celebration 

Sefton CVS and Sefton Council have extended Volunteers Week to a full year, with their ‘Year of the Volunteer’ initiative! To mark this special week however, Volunteer Centre Sefton – part of Sefton CVS – is holding a volunteering fair on 6 June to attract new volunteers.


Mike Howlett, Volunteer Centre Sefton’s Senior Citizenship and Volunteering Officer, said:

“As well as being a good way to meet new people, volunteering can be tailored to the lifestyle of each individual – what you do, where you do it and how much time you give is totally up to you.” 


You can find out more about the event here.


A new national database of volunteering opportunities

From Monday 4 June, volunteers throughout the country can search for roles on a new national website that combines data from 10 counties, with this number set to grow.


The Volunteer Plus website uses software that 45 Volunteer Centres have already moved to and has supported approximately 35,000 enquiries and 28,000 new registrations over the past year. This includes Volunteer Essex, which combines data from 10 Volunteer Centres to provide a searchable database of opportunities across the county of Essex.


Volunteer Centres that wish to be part of the new national website can find out more by visiting the Volunteer Plus website  or you can email hello@volunteerplus.org.uk.


Voluntary Action on tour

Voluntary Action Reigate & Banstead will be touring the Borough on 7 June on its annual “Big Thank You” Roadshow. Together with the local Mayor, cake, balloons and thank you cards VARB visits volunteers within the community. This year the tour will include Banstead Live at Home project, Merstham community hub, Merstham Mix café and Active Prospects - saying a “big thank you” to over 60 volunteers. Find out more about volunteering in Reigate & Banstead here.


Tea, music and dancing

What better way to say thank you than with a party? That’s how the South Tyneside Volunteer Coordinators Group (facilitated by Inspire South Tyneside) will be recognising the outstanding contribution that volunteers have made to South Tyneside, and thanking them them for their tireless hard work and dedication in making our community a better place to live. The event is taking place on 8 June at a local charity venue ‘The Customs House. It will involve afternoon tea, live music and dancing and will be attended by the Mayor and local dignatories as a fitting way to celebrate South Tyneside’s wonderful volunteers.

 

‘Thank you’ is the word on the street

On the streets of Brighton, volunteers are being celebrated left, right and centre with three decorated junction boxes. 


Brighton and Hove Community Works along with the local authority and health authority commissioned a local artist to help spread the word about the city’s fantastic volunteers. BH Community Works is also taking part in a citywide volunteering event on 5 June and is thanking its own volunteers with a meal and crazy golf tournament – here’s hoping for a hole in one!


A helping hand(book) 

Voluntary Action Leeds has launched the Leeds Volunteer handbook to support the induction of volunteers. The book covers all aspects of the local good practice award – the Leeds Volunteering Kitemark – to make sure all volunteers get the best start to their new role. The booklet is available for free to any organisation in Leeds to use with their volunteers.


Showcasing variety in volunteering Rainbow Services is using this week to promote volunteering opportunities with many different organisations across Harlow. 


At two dedicated events, Rainbow Services is bringing together charities and public services including Essex Fire and Rescue, Support 4 Sight, The Children’s Society, Princess Alexandra Hospital and St Clare Hospice to showcase the variety of volunteering roles and the benefits of getting involved. The first took place over the weekend and the second is on Tuesday 5 June at the Harvey Centre in Harlow. 

You can find details on Rainbow Services’ Twitter page.


A summer celebration 

South Derbyshire CVS is saying thank you to volunteers in the region with a summer celebration at a local beauty spot. 


Volunteers from South Derbyshire have been invited to attend the free event for tea, cake, summer drinks, the chance to try their hand at beeswax candles and to explore Rosliston Forestry Centre, where the event will take place on Tuesday 5 June. If you are a volunteer in South Derbyshire and would like to attend, email bookings@sdcvs.org.uk or call 01283 219761.


The next generation of volunteering

Voluntary Action North East Lincolnshire is focusing on youth volunteering this Volunteers Week, to showcase what young people can, and do, contribute to local social action. 


VANELS’s V:Expo conference, taking place on Tuesday 5 June, invites young people and organisations to hear from national organisations including Volunteering Matters and the National Youth Organisation. Through speakers and workshops, the day will explore everything from GDPR and young people, to government agendas around youth and social action projects already existing that involve young people. You can find out more about V:Expo here.