Using & supporting volunteers
Edition 10 – Thursday 28 May
Chain of cheers
For Volunteers Week, NAVCA are aiming to create a ‘chain of cheers for the volunteers’. Take a look at this tweet from MVDA which shows the general idea, and send your clips to Lucy Straker You just need to pass your tipple of choice from left of screen to right.
Volunteering Matters will be co-ordinating the government’s Journey Makers scheme. It will involve recruiting and training more than a thousand volunteers all over the UK, who will give guidance to commuters, help vulnerable travellers, and prevent overcrowding when people start returning to public transport.
A Volunteering Matters spokesperson said that, as the charity will be identifying local groups which can find and recruit the volunteers, the vast majority of the funding will effectively be passed to local organisations.
“Over the next few days, we’ll be identifying the organisations best suited to carry out this important co-ordination role in each area, and support them to make a success of this important scheme.”
Boost health and happiness in Hampshire and Isle of Wight communities as an Energise Me Trustee
Boost health and happiness in Hampshire and Isle of Wight communities as an Energise Me Trustee. Energise Me is looking for up to 6 people to join its board and advocate for physical activity. It’s a chance to support a great cause, build your network and gain strategic experience.
Energise Me is a charity that exists to beat inactivity and build happier, healthier, and stronger communities through physical activity and sport. For more information and to apply click here
Olympic telephone befriender
An Olympian and diving coach who managed Britain’s Olympic diving team and was to be a judge at this year’s Games is spending her lockdown befriending Southampton’s isolated and lonely residents.
Lindsey Fraser, who represented Britain twice at the Olympics said “If everything had been as normal, I would have been preparing my divers for the Junior Europeans and the Olympic Games, while also working at The Quays in Southampton, running the diving programme there and coaching.”
Now Lindsey has turned her talents to helping Communicare in Southampton, which is committed to helping eradicate loneliness in the city, with its invaluable telephone befriending work. “Volunteering is definitely great for both the service user and me! It makes me feel useful and gives me a daily purpose!”
Edition 9 – Wednesday 20 May
Online training for volunteers
Together Co have some useful training courses for volunteers on their website eg. telephone befriending, food shopping, conversations with vulnerable people.
One Knowsley have a helpful ‘tips for telephone befriending’ video on their website.
The Faculty of Healthy Conversation Skills, comprising Health Psychologists and Public Health practitioners, are offering free online training to volunteers and workforces who are providing support to people affected by Covid-19.
The training will facilitate the development of practical skills in having ‘supportive conversations’ to help people’s wellbeing. To find out more or to access the training, email here
Volunteer Director needed
No Limits Trading Ltd is a growing vibrant social enterprise. It was set up by No Limits, a Southampton-based charity providing information, advice and counselling to children and young people.
They are looking to recruit other volunteer Directors who can play a vital role in the leadership of this organisation. Some understanding of social enterprise would be as welcome as well as having a background and knowledge in the areas we work in. Please see their website to find out more information
Edition 8 – Wednesday 13 May
Cheer for the volunteer
Tens of thousands of volunteers across the country are providing critical support to our communities in response to Covid-19. Each volunteer plays a significant role in keeping our communities safe, healthy and connected during these uncertain times. Please join us in recognizing the fantastic selfless support that volunteers have provided to our most vulnerable residents.
On Thursday 14th May at 8pm as you #Clap for the NHS please also #Cheer for the volunteers
[Or alternatively raise a glass on your doorstep – Cheers for the Volunteers]
Hampshire County Council has issued new guidance on how to volunteer safely during the Covid-19 pandemic. The guidance, which was developed with partners including the Hampshire CVS Network, CCGS and pharmacies, contains information on hygiene, reporting wellbeing and safeguarding concerns, as well as practical advice on handling money and dog walking.
Covid-19 crisis shows charities need to change approach to volunteering, leaders say
Over a million people have signed up to various volunteering schemes during the Covid-19 crisis. Charity leaders have said this highlights the need to make sure charities and voluntary organisations ensure it is as simple as possible for people to continue to engage once lockdown measures start to ease.
Karl Wilding, chief executive of NCVO, said that too often discussions about volunteering focus on the idea of a “supply and demand mismatch” and trying to get more people to volunteer. However the current crisis shows “there’s always enough people that want to get involved”, and that the real challenge is to coordinate it well. He said this highlights that “we need to invest in volunteer management”.
Food safety for community cooking and foodbanks
Some useful guidance on food preparation and hygiene.
Edition 6 – Wednesday 29 April
NCVO publishes volunteering round-up
NCVO has put together a round-up of what’s happened in the world of volunteering since Covid-19 began to spread around the world. Among other things, the blog covers the volunteering response to the pandemic, Volunteers’ Week 2020 and the National Volunteering Forum.
To read the blog, click here
Good Practice in Volunteer Management
This free practical four-part online course will introduce you to the key knowledge and skills that every volunteer manager needs.
Edition 5 – Wednesday 22 April
Quick training for ‘supportive conversations’
A professional collective including NHS Health Education England have offered to provide free online training, providing practical skills for ‘supportive conversations’. Their evaluations show that the 75 minute training has increased peoples’ confidence and competence to support others, without feeling they need to be an expert. Contact the team here
Once the Covid-19 crisis happened, people quickly reconfigured services in order to deliver as much as possible via telephone. This report aims to quickly share what seems to work, and pitfalls to avoid.
Guidance for volunteers
Cheshire East CVS has some excellent guidance and resources for volunteers on their website such as:
- Picking up prescriptions
- Volunteer guide to shopping
- Telephone befriending
- Animal related tasks eg. dog walking
Videos to he
Four video animations have been produced and are available on the CVS Network website. These videos provide bite size and accessible information on: supporting volunteers; safeguarding; telephone befriending and advice for volunteers. They are each between 2 and 4 minutes long, and well worth directing people to.
Do’s and Don’ts
A good ‘do’s and don’ts sheet for volunteers and pop up groups.
Volunteers & mutual aid
We continue to signpost people requiring/offering volunteers to their local volunteer centre. Find your local centre here. They have the infrastructure to support volunteering activities safely, and are responding quickly and effectively to the current crisis. To find or set up a mutual aid group, there is a national ‘register’ here. These groups should also sign up to the Mutual Aid Facebook page to get support and help on how to function safely.
Furloughed staff can volunteer, but not for their own charity
New guidance on the scheme published by HM Revenue & Customs confirms that furloughed employees are able to take part in volunteer work, providing this does not provide services to, or generate revenue for their employers. This means that furloughed staff can do voluntary work, but not for their own charities. For our sector this is both positive and negative: our own staff cannot undertake voluntary work for us, but all the furloughed staff from other organisations potentially gives us a bigger pool of working age volunteers.