There’s the perfect volunteering role for you out there. Let us help you find it!

April 18, 2014


Honoured to win a national ‘Ten Outstanding Young Persons’ (TOYP) Award!

April 18, 2014

Originally posted on one swallow makes a summer:

I am so proud to win an Award from JCI as one of the Ten Outstanding Young People (TOYP) in the UK- and very pleased to help represent both London and the charity sector!

I’m pictured above with Shaun Dias, a fellow London winner in a different category.

Here is the Awards website with some background information.

I’d like to thank everyone who supports the work I do and the causes that I care about- those who have helped me to spread the word about why small charities matter, about Board Diversity and young trustees, about the importance of social media for social good and the need to try to get great people involved in the charity sector.

Three previous recipients of these awards who have then gone on to achieve success at a global level for TOYP are three of the young people that…

View original 58 more words

How to become a trustee

April 17, 2014

trustee wordsBoard members are the people in charge of a charity, voluntary organisations or social enterprises. They can also be known as committee members, directors or trustees! Whatever they’re called, they play a vital role, volunteering their time and working together to make important decisions about the organisation’s work.

Do you like the idea of volunteering as a board member but aren’t sure how to get started or what the role involves?

Join us for an informal session to explore and help understand the roles and responsibilities of a board member of a charity, voluntary group or social enterprise.

We ask:

  • what is a charity, voluntary organisation and social enterprise?
  • what structures can they take?
  • what is the Board? and
  • what is its role?

This session will provide an overview of how you can make a contribution to improving lives and communities; consider legal commitments, and discuss what it means to be a board member. These kinds of organisations need effective governance and this requires volunteers with a range of experiences and skills.

The Volunteer Centre managed by Dudley CVS has board member opportunities available and can provide advice and guidance in identifying a suitable vacancy within Dudley Borough.

We are also holding a Speedmatching event on Saturday 7th June. If you would like to attend this, please contact us for the link to book a place.


Please follow link below to book:

  • 7th May 2014 from 18:00 to 20:00
  • 10th May 2014  from 10:00 to 12:00
  • VENUE to be confirmed


Are you aged 16-30? Interested in Construction?

April 17, 2014

construction youth trust

Why not promote your group at the Love Music Hate Racism Festival in Dudley on 26th April 2014?

April 17, 2014

Love music hate racism

We have availability for stalls from voluntary organisations in quite large numbers, so why not come along to promote your organisation and have a great time.

We need first aiders too.

Are there any groups out there with musical art or dance groups that may wish to join in?

What is Love Music Hate Racism Festival?

 Bringing artists from different backgrounds and genres together to celebrate and enjoy music.

  • If you love music and hate racism, come and celebrate our unity at this free event.
  • It will be from 2 through to dusk for events in the closed off road [St James Road, Dudley]
  • It is sponsored by the unions
  • It will have: a massive climbing kids thing, Sandwell rocks stage, a Dance tent, we hope to have lots of stalls and outside music acts
  • The town hall will have a large number of bands
  • We are hoping to have some slots for kids and young folk with disabilities
  • Also asking Alex Stone to perform.
  • So lots going on town hall booked till 11 and two Stages


To book a FREE stall for your organisation, please contact:

Cllr Tim Crumpton
Cabinet member for Children’s Services and Lifelong Learning
0785 324 3692 or email

For more details please visit the Facebook page for the event


April 16, 2014

how“How you decide to thank your volunteers can be as important as the decision to thank them at all. It will be informed by many factors: on a general level, how many volunteers you have, their physical proximity to you and the culture your charity has decided for itself.

More specifically, you should always tailor your thanks to the individual volunteers. A very public expression of thanks, be it in a report or at an event, may help to carry weight. Though for people who are uncomfortable in the limelight, a quiet pat on the back, a private email or a telephone call may be better.”
The NCVO Members Quick Guide to Thanking Volunteers 

When you are planning how to say THANK YOU to your volunteers you may have a number of things to consider:

  • how many volunteers you have
  • when you need to hold the event to ensure as many as possible can attend – there’s no point choosing a Wednesday evening if half the volunteers are at their Zumba class!  [checking availability is a sensible step]
  • is it an informal gathering or a more formal occasion?
  • where you will be holding it? Don’t just think about the geographical location, but also about things like parking, access for those who may be less mobile and how big a venue you need
  • who to invite - if you need someone key to attend such as your Chair, Chief Exec or a local MP, you may need to work the event around their availability
  • plan a programme for the event – a rough plan of who’s doing what and when is always reassuring and if it’s a more formal event, you may wish to have a printed programme for guests
  • BUDGET - this is probably the most important thing to consider!  If you are a small organisation and don’t have a budget for volunteer recognition and celebration, this may restrict your plans a little. You can do a great event on a shoestring, if you can find a free venue, free certificates from your local Volunteer Centre [we produce them every year for our local groups], get people to bring a contribution towards refreshments/buffet.

Just remember it’s quality that’s important and a genuine wish to make volunteers feel valued.  

Are you doing anything on Saturday 21st June? If you are cancel it now …

April 15, 2014

Carers Forum Logo… as Dudley Carers Forum needs your help!

They are holding a Summer Fair to raise essential funds at

Brierley Hill Methodist Church, Bank Street, Brierley Hill, from 1 – 4 pm.

Volunteers are needed desperately to help them set up the event and clear up afterwards.


10 am to approx 4 pm

What do they need help with?

  • setting up stalls
  • setting up the cafe/kitchen
  • talking to people and directing them to refreshments etc
  • helping with the cafe/kitchen
  • clearing away at the end of the event

Want to help?

Please contact Dale at Dudley CVS on or Eileen on

Find out more about the group?

please follow this link to the Dudley Carers Forum website

I know what you did last summer! Bet you were bored. Why not try this, you won’t be this year!!!

April 15, 2014

Dudley Libraries are looking for young volunteers aged 14 to 24, to support the 2014 Mythical Maze Summer Reading ChallePicture3nge, which will run from Saturday 12th July to Sunday 14th September 2014.

Children aged 4-11 are encouraged to read 6
books borrowed from their local library, receiving a Mythical Maze wristband and certificate on completion. The Summer Reading Challenge is a very successful national initiative with 776,297 children taking part in 2013.


Eat four custard creams before 11am and think nothing of it!

April 14, 2014

wrg-1 wrgIf this is your kind of volunteering opportunity, read on!!!

A Canal Camp is an enjoyable week’s outdoor volunteer holiday spent working on the canals with IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group (WRG). Find out why taking part in a Canal Camp is such a great experience!

1. Eat four custard creams before 11am and think nothing of it!

Each Canal Camp costs £56 which includes all your food and accommodation for the week. Every day volunteers will be provided with a cooked breakfast, lunch and a substantial freshly cooked evening meal by the designated Camp Cook… plus lots of tea and biscuits!

Don’t worry you’ll burn off all those calories in WRG’s exclusive ‘outdoor gym’ which could involve bricklaying, clearing vegetation, driving dumpers or creating towpaths! For those with ‘desk jobs’ or IT heavy occupations, it’s all about doing something physical.

2. Meet new people

There’s nothing like a week of working, playing and living together to bring a group together! You’ll arrive knowing no-one and come away with 17 new friends. Our Camps are a great experience for anyone who enjoys meeting new people from different backgrounds and of different ages. WRG volunteers come from all over the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and occasionally as far afield as Australia! Our camps are open to anyone aged 18-70. In the evenings volunteers usually head to the pub for a pint or organise other outings such as bowling, swimming or a visit to the cinema.

3. Help bring derelict canals back to life for everyone to enjoy

In the 19th century, ‘railway mania’ replaced the ‘canal mania’ years and investment in canals reduced. By World War II, freight carrying on all but a few waterways was ending and many waterways were abandoned or filled in. Luckily, by the 1940s a few visionaries realised that canals had a future for pleasure boating, recreation, and industrial archaeology and The Inland Waterways Association was founded. Since then, hundreds of miles of canal and river navigations have been saved from dereliction!

Today, Britain’s network of canals and inland waterways are a huge linear national park – a leisure park, a vital wildlife sanctuary, an important industrial heritage site and an environment-friendly transport system all rolled into one. Despite this there are still over 2500 miles of derelict waterways and that’s where we need your help.

4. Drive a digger

Many people still call what we do ‘canal digging’, but nowadays when we need to dig out the channel, we rarely do it by hand with picks and shovels – we use excavators and dumper-trucks instead. We don’t just let anyone start driving a JCB – we run our own training and Driver Authorisation scheme. But there’s no reason why a new volunteer shouldn’t learn to use machinery on their first camp!

5. Explore hidden gems of the British countryside

WRG Canal Camps are held all over England and Wales – from the beautiful setting of the Lancaster Canal to the industrial heartlands of Derbyshire on the Chesterfield and Cromford Canals. Arrangements can be made to pick you up from the nearest train station to the Camp if you don’t have a car.

6. Add something unique and interesting to your CV

These unique working holidays provide a great opportunity to gain some practical experience as well as boosting the CV. From an employer perspective, the Camps demonstrate important skills such as teamwork, leadership and negotiation skills. Spending a week with a group of muddy volunteers can also be a real conversation opener in interviews too!

7. Learn new skills

Whether you have recently retired; are looking for something different to do for the summer; or just doing it for your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Canal Camps offer everyone the chance to try their hand at something completely different. Canal Camps involve a wide variety of activities, from building new bridges and restoring lock chambers to excavation and bank protection. Whether you are a complete beginner or have tried your hand at restoration before, you will be guided through every task by the Canal Camp Leader and their Assistant.

8. A cheap summer holiday

A popular time to sign up for a working holiday is that break between school and university, or in the summer holidays. Where else can you have wonderful scenery, learn new skills, be out in the fresh air, have wonderful food cooked for you, and meet new people, all for a mere £56. Cheaper than you can live at home for a week!

9. Complete your Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Residential

WRG is an Approved Activity Provider through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme and welcomes participants completing the residential aspect of it. To complete the residential, participants need to spend at least four nights away from home taking part in an activity with people they’ve never met, and WRG offers the perfect opportunity to do this!

10. Sense of pride that what you have achieved during the week will be there for years to come

It’s amazing how much volunteers can achieve in a week, from clearing miles of vegetation from the line of the canal, repairing a length of towpath or rebuilding part of a lock chamber. It’s great for your self-esteem to feel you’ve achieved something in such a brief window of time.

WRG has helped restore many derelict waterways throughout Britain. One of WRG’s largest projects has been the complete rebuilding of the four Frankton Locks and the three Aston Locks on the Montgomery Canal, which passes through the spectacular Welsh Borders.  Other projects include the construction of Over Basin on the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal and more recently the restoration of Droitwich Barge Lock in the Midlands.

WRG offers a unique volunteering experience, a week of mud, sweat & beers! You will make life-long friends, have great laughs and learn new skills along the way. Just think one day you might be able to walk, boat or cycle down a canal that you have helped restore.
Find out more about WRG Canal Camps

Take a look at 2014 Canal Camp Dates

Keep updated! Sign up to WRG’s e-newsletter

For more information, contact Jenny Black on 01494 783453 ext. 604 or email

Go on – you know you want to involve young volunteers!

April 14, 2014

May 10 056Top Tips – part two

Hope you are enjoying the blog posts so far and finding them useful. Here are a few more top tips for involving young volunteers:

Manage and support your young volunteers

  • Make sure you make your young volunteers feel valued, from their first contact with the organisation and throughout their volunteering with you
  • Provide a more casual atmosphere towards young people
  • Designate a ‘named’ person for your young volunteers, so they can relate to the project through that named person and build trust, and respect through them
  • Tailor support and supervision to meet the needs of your young volunteers. Does it need to be less formal or focus more on personal development?
  • Reward your young volunteers verbally or practically e.g. always say ‘thank you’ when they come into volunteer
  • Talk about how much you appreciate their contribution during support/supervision
  • Give them valued volunteer certificates along with your other volunteers
  • Give them cinema vouchers etc. as a way of demonstrating that you appreciate their commitment

 Always make the benefits of volunteering clear to them

  •  to increase their confidence and self-esteem
  • to gain knowledge, skills or experience such as event planning, team working, sticking to deadlines
  • to develop social skills and other ‘soft skills’
  • as a route to personal development
  • to enhance their employability and gaining vital experience to increase their job prospects
  • to access further education


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,128 other followers

%d bloggers like this: