More Mascots needs YOU to help them raise valuable funds @MoreMascots1 @Dudleymayor @DudleyCVS

MORE MASCOTSMore Mascots Please is a Community Interest Company (CIC) located in the heart of the West Midlands region and one of Dudley Mayor’s Charities for 2014/15. The aim of More Mascots Please CIC is to make a difference to the lives of disabled, disadvantaged and terminally ill children, based in the Black Country and Birmingham areas, of whom require a little extra support and assistance to get through their everyday lives. With the help of our magical mascots – Mintie, Melanie, Banoffie, toy soldier Marchie, Poppie, Steevie and Merrie – More Mascots Please CIC intends to facilitate as many events for children and young people as possible. Every single penny of profit counts, as all money raised goes directly back into the company and is used not only to make a difference to the lives of children and young people, but also to make their wishes become a reality!

How can YOU help?

More Mascots Please needs volunteers to take part in the Big Fun Run on Saturday 12th September at Canon Hill Park, Birmingham, B13 8RD. The run will start at 11am so we would like people to be there for 10.30am to warm up and meet the team. Volunteers for the run will need to take a sponsor form and raise at least £20.00 as this will cover their entry cost with some fundraising left over for us too. Volunteers will also need to complete a medical form which is provided by the Big Fun Run on the day.

If you’d like to help, please contact Ceri at More Mascots Please or on Twitter @MoreMascots1

Your Spotlight Hurts My Eyes!


This brilliant and thought provoking post certainly demonstrates the importance of having good practice measures in place when involving volunteers. Clear systems and transparency are essential. It’s so true that charities have to work harder at things. Thanks Meridian. Brilliant as always :)

Originally posted on volunteerplaintalk:

In the Spotlight In the Spotlight I almost spit out my sip of coffee when I ran across this article a week ago. According to the story, a great grandmother was “sacked” from her nearly 30 year volunteer position at a thrift store for her inability to use a computer. The searing negative light this incident turned on made me cringe because as you can see from the selected comments I pasted below the link, non-profits all get lumped into the big barrel of rotten fish when a charity receives bad press.

Here are 3 comments from readers:

JHR16 days ago
Charities are beginning to stink to high heaven.

ycjarman17 days ago
NEVER help a Charity that doesn’t appreciate what you bring to it !

JBJB116 days ago
Strikes me a lot of charities have lost sight of what they are supposed to be doing and more concerned in becoming corporate enterprises

View original 826 more words

OPP OF THE DAY: Helpline/Listening Volunteers, The Samaritans

Volunteers are required to offer emotional support to people experiencing personal crisis and are Samaritnas
in danger of taking their own lives. Support offered by telephone, visit or letter.
Volunteer must be 18 or over.

Good communication skills, sympathetic, good listener.

FOR MORE INFO OR TO APPLY please contact:

Tel: 01384 78111

OPP OF THE DAY: Home Visiting Volunteer, Home-Start (Dudley)

About the opportunityhome start
This opportunity is to give support to families who are experiencing difficulties in a variety of areas including feeling isolated and lonely, dealing with difficult family situations/break up, having a child with disabilities, or having many young children to name but a few. Volunteers are fully trained to work with families and are supported by our staff in their role. A successful volunteer would commit to visiting their family for a couple of hours a week and would expect to support their family in the best way to suit their needs. This could be by attending groups with their family, giving information on other services and activities, supporting parents in their parenting skills by giving advice and sharing their experiences. Families may be facing hardship and just want a friend to talk to or someone to help with more practical issues. Many of our volunteers become fast friends with their families and even years after leaving Home-Start will still meet up for a coffee and a catch up! Home-Start Dudley offers excellent ongoing training for volunteers and allows you access to opportunities to further your experience, knowledge and career. Lots of our volunteers gain employment or move on to further education, Home-Start provides excellent experience for social care careers and courses.

What are they looking for?
Volunteer must be a parent or have parenting experience. They must be able to attend the course of preparation 1 day a week for 9 weeks and we ask that they be able to visit for a couple of hours a week to support their families. We are looking for volunteers to be available at all times during the day but at the moment we are especially looking for volunteers who could visit a family before or after school (e.g. between the hours of 7.30-9.30am and 3.00 – 7.00pm) to help with getting children ready for school/nursery or to help with dealing with the extra children who are around after school as this is often the hardest time of the day for families with many children.

We welcome volunteers with disabilities to be part of the team as long as they are able to make their way to the families home incurring reasonable expenses (car or bus).

How will you benefit?
Volunteers are paid out of pocket expenses for all travel and other costs incurred in support of their families.
Volunteers are invited on training throughout their time with Home-Start in a variety of subjects and can express an interest in a certain area to look at progressing into this area.
Working with Home-Start provides volunteers with excellent experience in the health and social care sector and can be used towards university or college course work placement targets.
Helping a family is very rewarding when you see them progress and overcome obstacles that they never thought they could.
People who help Home-Start Dudley are an excellent bunch, and many of our volunteers have made fast friends with other volunteers, staff or families

Latest Information
We are running a preparation course for new volunteers starting on the 21st January 2015 in Cradley Heath (all reasonable out of pocket travel expenses will be paid and lunch will be provided). This course will run for 9 weeks every Wednesday (not including half term week).

Parenting skills are essential, volunteers must offer confidentiality, openness and honesty and be sensitive to equality and diversity. Volunteers must be committed to a weekly 2 /3 hour visit.

FOR MORE INFO OR TO APPLY please contact:

Cheryl Dando
Senior Organiser
Tel: 01384 482733

OPP OF THE DAY: Minibus Driver, The Multiple Sclerosis Society – Dudley District Branch

Purpose of the role:ms society
to drive a branch minibus to enable people affected by MS to attend meetings, outings, leisure activities and other events

Tasks and responsibilities:
– complete the relevant risk assessments for branch transport activities
– conduct pre-journey checks on vehicle
– provide assistance to load and unload passengers into the vehicle taking into account any special requirements they might have
– check that wheelchairs are clamped in the vehicles according to the proper procedures, and that passengers are comfortable with their seatbelts secured
– assist passengers when they are collected or returned to their home ensuring they are comfortably settled and secure before leaving
– immediately notify the Transport Officer or Branch Chair of accidents and incidents, including theft or passenger illness, according to procedures
– make sure that all vehicle faults and defects are recorded and brought promptly to the attention of the Transport Officer or Branch Chair
– keep up to date with any guidance and information regarding the operation of vehicles from the MS National Centre and the branch

A disclosure check will be required for this role as it involves volunteering closely and regularly with vulnerable groups. Having a criminal record will not be an automatic barrier to volunteering with us, as only relevant convictions will be taken into account.

Time commitment:
– flexible to meet your availability and preferences, and the branch’s needs

– a clean driving licence and able to fulfil the requirements of HSV: 011 the flowchart for volunteer drivers
– good communication and organisational skills
– willing to work as part of a team

FOR MORE INFO OR TO APPLY please contact:

Sharon Smith
Branch Secretary
Tel: 01384 891100

OPP OF THE DAY: Branch Treasurer, The Multiple Sclerosis Society – Dudley District Branch

Purpose of the role:ms society
To oversee all branch financial activities, provide financial advice and information to the branch committee, and report on the branch finances to the MS National Centre

Tasks and responsibilities:
– maintain accurate and up-to-date accounting records for the branch
– ensure proper financial controls are established and complied with and the branch follows the Society’s financial rules
– ensure the branch committee review the Society’s internal financial controls checklist
– act as one of the bank signatories to the branch bank account
– prepare and present relevant and regular financial reports to committee
– submit financial information to the MS National Centre in accordance with the Society’s rules.
– advise the branch committee on effective financial management, the proper use of branch funds and the financial implications of committee decisions in line with the Society’s rules and guidance in the Treasurers Handbook
– take the lead in planning and budgeting the branch’s finances with the rest of the branch committee
– ensure a smooth handover to the next Treasurer, as all documents and money are the property of the MS Society
– ensure the branch is claiming gift aid and obtaining charity VAT reliefs as appropriate

– experience of managing finances for a business, book-keeping or other financial accounting experience
– IT skills (e.g. be able to navigate the internet)
– willing to work as part of a team

FOR MORE INFO OR TO APPLY please contact:

Sharon Smith
Branch Secretary
Tel: 01384 891100