Robert and Steph’s volunteering changes people’s lives!

Healthy Communities Award 2013

This award is presented in honour of the thousands of volunteers from all across Dudley borough, who make a massive difference every day, to the health of our local communities.KGP_8021


Steph Cokeley from Stourbridge volunteers for Bliss and provides practical, and emotional support to parents and families who have had premature babies.  She has six children, has a second voluntary role for the NSPCC and also works. Her nominator described her as a “true superwoman”!

MAIN AWARD - Robert Stokes

The Mayor with Rob Stokes

The Mayor with Rob Stokes

Robert has been volunteering for 7 years with the Expert Patients Programme.  He is a facilitator who helps people manage their lives and health better, through the delivery of self-management programme workshops.

Rob is simply an inspiration. Last year, he personally helped 61 people better manage their health and long-term conditions. He helped pilot the first diabetes self-management programme.  In addition Robert has inspired other people to volunteer, acting as a mentor to inspire others to work in their local community.

His nominator said:

“He does all this while actively managing his own long-term condition.  Rob deserves recognition for all he has done. Everyone could do with a Rob Stokes in their team!”

Robert really is an inspiration and it is for his dedicated activity and commitment to improving people’s lives and health, that we were delighted to ask Sarah to accept the Health Communities Award on his behalf.

Loving the posts about rewarding and recognising volunteers? Why not sign up to this year’s Award blog to keep yourself up-to-date. Visit and click on the link to Follow.  We’ll be sharing lots of news about the Awards including: previous year’s winners, how the nominations are going and every single volunteer/group who’s nominated will be recognised on our Roll of Honour.  Why not join us in the lead-up to this amazing annual event?  We will also be sharing photos from the Awards Ceremony straight after the event, so sign up to be the first to see them.

Volunteers wanted to support adults & children with learning disabilities

The OfPeta2fice of Public Health Weight Management Team is currently looking for volunteers with an interest in supporting adults and children with Learning Disabilities. The Weight Management ’learning disability programmes’ are run in partnership with the Ridge Hill Learning Centre (for adults) and Kids orchard (for children). Volunteers will work alongside staff from both of these organisations and the Office of Public Health, as well as participants and members of their family/carers.

You will support staff to prepare and deliver weight management sessions, share healthy lifestyle messages and help participants to set goals.

You will:

• Support participants through their weight loss journey
• Be able to use your personal experience to empathise and support in a non judgemental way
• Be willing to engage with and support families in a positive way using meaningful conversations and information at a level that is appropriate for the participants
• Have good listening skills and either have experience of or be willing to learn some basic makaton to help communicate effectively with participants
• Be provided with training and support to carry out your role and agreed volunteer expenses will be reimbursed
• Have the opportunity to observe the programme before fully committing yourself.

FOR MORE INFO OR TO APPLY please contact:

Peta Curno
Healthy Communities Volunteer Coordinator
Tel: 01384 816263

Want something amazing to do this summer holidays? Make it a summer to remember for some very special children!

Chaos Summer Playscheme are seeking volunteers for the following roles:CHAOS

Summer Playscheme Helper/Volunteer
- Giving additional support to enable the children to participate fully in activities and get maximum enjoyment from the playscheme

Summer Playscheme Cleaning Volunteer
- Making sure we leave the room spotless after each session
- This is a key role in the team

Summer Playscheme Refreshment Volunteer
- Keep the team fuelled up, by providing regular drinks to keep their energy levels up
- This is the most important role in the team, keeping the team going will ensure all the children have a wonderful time

Who’s it for?
- Children of all ages with severe disabilities and additional needs.
- The aim of the scheme is to give the children chance to do things that are fun and maybe they haven’t tried before
- Children will be offered a range of creative play, wet play and messy play activities, both indoors and out. Arts, crafts, music, performance and more
- Activities will be suggested by the children attending
- They will be able to choose what from the range of activities available on that day

- 4th August for 3 weeks
- 0900 to approx 1600, Mon-Fri
- Volunteers would need to be available from the week before for induction/planning

- Initial meeting and induction will be at Insight House, Pearson Street, Brierley Hill
- Sessions will be run at Pens Meadow Special School.
- Complete registration form on website
or email or
- Interviews
- Take up references
- Complete DBS checks
- Complete a week’s induction/training prior to starting playscheme

References will be given at the end of the scheme.

For further information please call 01384 483708.

The positive impact of physical activity on people with sight loss

Dudley CVS Volunteer Centre:

I just had to share this great blog post and these activities wouldn’t happen without volunteers, so why not volunteer for Thomas Pocklington Trust?

Originally posted on Dudley CVS blog:

Thomas Pocklington swimmers

Meet some of the staff, volunteers and swimmers from Thomas Pocklington Trust Stourbridge’s project supporting people with sight loss to access sport and physical activity, a piece of work which is not only helping people to feel healthier, it’s also giving participants a new lease of life.

As one of the projects funded by the Improving Physical Activity Fund (mentioned in my previous post), I met with some of the group members, 3 volunteers, Sharon the instructor and project-manager David, to discuss what impact the project has had on them.

View original 457 more words

Volunteering Administrator [paid role] with Wolverhampton Volunteers

Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council have an exciting opportunity for a competent and committed person to play a key role in the delivery and development of the City’s volunteer service.


£15,882 – £16,998

You will be working as part of a small team which supports over 1,000 people a year into volunteering.

Your role will involve providing administrative support to the service and will include regular contact with people from all backgrounds.

You will be an experienced administrator with good IT and people skills.

We welcome enquiries from everyone and value diversity in our workforce

For a job description and/or application pack, please download them from our website or contact Kath Pye on 01902 773761

Closing date: Tuesday August 5th 10:00 am

Interview date: Week commencing Monday 11thAugust

Anthony Taylor
Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council
Communications Officer
16 Temple Street, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, WV2 4AN
Tel: 01902 773761 (Mainline) Tel: 01902 328981 (Direct Line)

Be a detective – hunt out the reasons!

detectiveBefore a volunteer leaves or thinks about leaving, there may be some signs to give you a clue that things aren’t going well. Some volunteers may already display some or all of these as their natural disposition though, so be observant! Just remember that having a good relationship with your volunteers, keeping in regular contact and scheduled support/supervision sessions, should pick up on all of these!!!

  • Not turning up regularly / unwilling to commit – if they don’t turn up when they were previously very committed, something is wrong.
  • Making excuses – if there’s always an excuse for not coming or doing something, be on the alert, it could be a sign things aren’t going well.
  • Moody – upset, angry - when a normally sunny volunteer suddenly becomes grumpy, you’re going to notice. It may be something personal that’s nothing to do with their volunteering, but try to find out why the change.
  • Not joining in/lack of interest – another sign that all’s not well, when previously they were exuding enthusiasm. Try to dig out the reason.
  • Moaning – for some volunteer this can be a natural demeanour, we are talking about excessive moaning or volunteers complaining, who have previously been content.
  • Service users notice/making comments – your service users can be a great indicator of potential issues with volunteers and they may spot things that you don’t.
  • Other volunteers/staff notice – just like service users, volunteers/staff are a great gauge of how other volunteers are doing and may spot the signs before you!
  • Not doing what’s expected – when Mavis suddenly decides no-one is getting a drink today and locks herself in the kitchen, something’s wrong.  Anything that’s not usual behaviour for a volunteer needs to be investigated, but be sensitive and empathic. Confrontation could result in a high speed exit!
  • Asking for a reference – this could be a genuine request as the volunteer has found a job or is looking at a college course, but could also be a sign that things aren’t going well.
  • Body language – if you understand body language and a volunteer is standing with their arms folded and exuding a truculent manner, things aren’t good.
  • Ignoring attempts to make contact - this one is a fairly obvious one in some cases.  If a volunteer’s mobile number is suddenly permanently not available,  it’s not a matter of needing to buy credit, there’s a good chance they’ve changed it.
  • Asking about other roles – a subtle way of saying that the volunteer is either bored or unhappy in their current role.
  • Not communicating with you/vols/clients – when a sociable/chatty volunteer suddenly clams up this could be a sign of personal issues, but equally be a sign of a deeper malaise with the volunteer. Approach delicately and try to fish for reasons for their change in behaviour.
  • Health deteriorates – this may be really obvious, but there are lots of hidden health conditions such as depression, stress or other illnesses that don’t show.  Again this will need to be handled delicately.
  • Turned down for paid role – a common result of this is a volunteer exuding dissatisfaction and their behaviour changing. It’s a difficult situation and it may be that the volunteer was wholly unsuitable, but needs to be handled with the ultimate of tact and diplomacy to avoid any fallout.
  • Being negative - this is another tricky one and may be a result of the above issue. Then again, it may be a matter of a volunteer feeling disillusioned – not always with their volunteering role, but because of things going on outside the volunteering environment. Get those kid gloves out and try to coax the reasons from them.
  • Confrontational - something’s wrong if your normally placid volunteer suddenly argues about everything and seems to want a fight. Something has obviously happened to upset them. Just remember it may not be to do with their volunteering and approach with care. If it’s a large, well-built volunteer, it may be an idea to have back up! 
  • Wants to keep swapping roles/days – this could be for several reasons eg they are unhappy with their current role, or something is going on outside the volunteering environment and they are struggling to fit everything in.
  • Other volunteers leaving -this is very serious and must be tackled immediately. It could be that a long-serving volunteer doesn’t like new people coming, feels threatened by them, or has unpleasant personality traits. Whatever the reason you need to get to the bottom of it and tackle it squarely, or you could lose volunteers!



“Green Team Dudley are an inspiring group of people, because they put aside their own difficulties to help and benefit their community.”

Green Achievement Award Winners 2013

Across the borough, there are volunteers giving their time to keep the area looking its best and looking after our natural environment. They are out in all sorts of weather, digging, planting and litter picking because they want to make a difference. Our panel felt that one nomination stood out so much this year in the Environmental Achievement category that we decided to present one single special award.

MAIN AWARD - Dudley Green TeamKGP_8069

The Green Team do so much behind the scenes on Dudley Canals, helping to keep the green areas looking beautiful and unspoilt for Dudley communities and visitors from further afield.

Their nominator said:

“Green Team Dudley are an inspiring group of people, because they put aside their own difficulties to help and benefit their community.  They are all adults with learning difficulties, but love nothing more than being part of a team, getting stuck in, and watching others enjoy the fruits of their labour. Dudley Green Team volunteers are a credit to Dudley and we are truly blessed to have them as part of our Dudley Canals’ family.”

As well as litter-picking, they take on grounds maintenance and gardening tasks: and help to combat vandalism by cleaning and repainting landmarks along the waterways.

The team also grow all the plants they use from seed at their own allotment and provide floral displays across the borough.

Loving the posts about rewarding and recognising volunteers? Why not sign up to this year’s Award blog to keep yourself up-to-date. Visit and click on the link to Follow.  We’ll be sharing lots of news about the Awards including: previous year’s winners, how the nominations are going and every single volunteer/group who’s nominated will be recognised on our Roll of Honour.  Why not join us in the lead-up to this amazing annual event?  We will also be sharing photos from the Awards Ceremony straight after the event, so sign up to be the first to see them.