Chatting and meeting new people has its benefits!

old peopleVolunteering has lots of positives and one of these is meeting people.  There are a few roles where you may be volunteering on your own, but not many and the majority involve interacting with other people. This is one of the joys of volunteering, meeting new people, chatting about all sorts of things and even boosting your cv. You may also make new contacts for a different volunteering role, or even a project, or new job.

Even if the people you meet don’t have any degree of influence, you may still be able to form close, fulfilling relationships with people you can honestly call your friends. For many people this is the sheer joy of volunteering, particularly if they live on their own, are isolated, or don’t get out much. The people you meet may have something in common with you, or be completely different, it’s still a pleasure to meet someone new and take the time to chat.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our quartet of posts to get you thinking about volunteering.  So take up the challenge today and volunteer :)

The support you need: the role of infrastructure in criminal justice

Supporting the voluntary sector to thrive is a key aspect of any infrastructure organisation. We want to see healthy voluntary sector organisations that are effective at supporting the most marginalised people in our communities to desist from crime and get their lives back on track.

Clinks, Action for Prisoners Families, Women’s Breakout, The Arts Alliance, and BTEG are all infrastructure organisations that provide support for organisations in the voluntary sector, working in criminal justice and community safety. We want to find out what you think about the role and value of this support. Have your say here

Our support for the sector takes many forms, including practical guidance, training courses, fundraising support, disseminating grants, consultancy support, service development, network creation, research, campaigning, and influencing policy. What do you value most about Clinks, and what do you think we could do to further support your work?

In order for infrastructure to ensure that its services are effective, sustainable and efficient, the Ministry of Justice has asked Clinks to co-ordinate an extensive independent review of criminal justice infrastructure support – read our blog on this review here. This will help us to determine the future direction of support and how it should be funded.

More organisations confirmed for Volunteer Fair!

autumn vol fairOn 21st October we are holding a Volunteer Information Event and have now got more groups confirmed. As you can see we’ve got 10 confirmed so far and more to come we hope. It’s great that potential volunteers will get a good selection to chat to and choose from!

Dudley CVS Pick Up and Pack a Pencil Case Appeal

With over 15,000 children in Dudley borough living in households where income is classed as being below the poverty line, Dudley Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) has launched an appeal to help equip some of those school-age children with one of the basic needs of the classroom.

The Pick-Up-and-Pack-a-Pencil-Case-Appeal was conceived in the summer and three local businesses were quick off the mark to help.

Brian Lacey of Alfabet Ltd, based in Bromley Street, Lye, was first to put up his hand, offering 500 free pencil cases for the appeal.

alfabet logo compressed for websiteAlfabet Ltd is the UK’s largest pencil case manufacturer, with nearly 30 years of trading. Alfabet website:

Second in line came Paul Billingsley of steel roofing sheets supplier, accord steel logo Accord Steel Cladding of Kingswinford, Website: who donated £250 towards the cost of buying essential pencil case items, such as rules, protractors, sharpeners, rubbers, drawing compasses, felt tip pens and, of course, pencils.

And finally, Brett Harris of Blaze Hairdressers in Kingswinford and a long standing supporter of the Dudley CVS Annual Operation Santa Toy Appeal pledged his time and his staff time to pack the pencil cases.

Eileen Fielding of Dudley CVS Volunteer Centre said, “We very much hope the Pick-Up-and-Pack-a-Pencil-Case-Appeal is successful because it shows the big difference a small donation can make to an under-privileged child. A child who lacks the basic resources they need to fully participate in school life can very quickly feel isolated and disconnected. We have 500 pencil cases to be filled and, ideally, we would like to include a scientific calculator as well, but we will need further financial donations from local businesses and local people to enable us to do that.”

Anyone who wants to make a financial donation or new pencil case items is asked to contact Eileen Fielding at Dudley Council for Voluntary Service in Brierley Hill on 01384 573381.

The Dudley CVS Pencil Case Appeal has been conceived on the back of the annual Operation Santa Toy Appeal that the registered charity has been running for over twenty years. The Pencil Case Appeal also follows on from the success of the Big Meal Deal in 2011 which provided over 6,000 free meals for local under-privileged school children during school holidays.

Community Facilitator £7,800 fixed price 12 month contract


West Midlands Historic Buildings Trust is seeking to appoint a Community Facilitator.  You will be responsible for the establishment of a sustainable Friends of Lye & Wollescote Cemetery with at least 20 – 30 members as part of a project involving the restoration of the currently derelict Grade 2 Listed 1879 cemetery chapels which are to be used by the Registrar of Dudley Council.  You need experience of working within the voluntary and community sector or undertaking community development work.  You will have a good understanding of the governance, funding and policy issues facing voluntary and community sector organisations. You need excellent inter-personnel skills, be self motivated and proactive, have good organisational skills and have a personal commitment to the project.


Email for Job Description.


Closing dated 6 October 2014.  Please submit Curriculum Vitae and covering letter by email to:


Ian Parkin
David Trevis-Smith
Nigel Brown
Liz Stuffins
Caroline Webb



Interviews will take place in W/B 13 October 2014wmhbtwmhbt

What sort of groups do volunteers help? We want to know!

volunteers helpingAs I am sure you are aware, volunteers make a major social and economic contribution towards the quality of life for people across the Dudley borough.  In 2005 we did an audit and once we’d analysed the results, found that 14822 volunteers gave around 1 million hours that year!

The last survey indicated that volunteering with children/young people and older people were the most popular areas and we are keen to see if things have changed, so we want to gather a current picture of the difference volunteers make to local communities and services. 

Dudley CVS are looking for your help in completing this audit which will be used to provide an accurate snapshot of local volunteering activity.  The information gained will be used to raise the profile of volunteering in the borough, demonstrate the diversity of volunteers and the impact they are making.  It will be shared with local stakeholders and the final report will be available in October, when interested groups may contact us for a copy or download it from our website.

Could you please complete this survey and forward it to anyone you know who works with volunteers across our borough. The more people who complete it, the more accurately we will be able to map volunteering activity. We know they make a difference and it would be nice to back this up with some current data. Please follow the link below to download the form.

2014 survey form

You can save this to your computer and fill in as you gather the information.  Please send the completed forms to Eileen or and contact us if you experience any problems with the form.

Thanks so much in anticipation of your support.  The closing date for completing them is Friday 26th September 2014.