Why we shouldn’t get too worried about declining rates of volunteering

Came across this interesting blog post from @NCVOvolunteers as the new Community Life Survey has been published and thought I would share. Think it will make for interesting reading! Do you think volunteering is declining?

Today saw the release of the latest figures from the Community Life survey, for 2013-14. During this time:

41 per cent of people questioned reported volunteering formally (ie through a group, club or organisation) at least once in the previous year

27 per cent said they took part at least once a month (‘regular volunteers’).

I need your help … please tell me what makes volunteers so special!

we love volunteersVolunteers Week has gone and of course, I know that lots of organisations recognise their volunteers all year round, but with us currenlty asking for nominations for this year’s Dudley Volunteer Awards, I started thinking about what volunteers do for their local communities.

I came across this great quote on Twitter and it got me thinking about volunteers and the amazing difference they make every day across the world. So what do volunteers do that makes them so special? Would love your suggestions and we’ll do a special blog post with your answers.

“Never be afraid to do something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the titanic.” – Anonymous

Justice Involving Volunteers in Europe (JIVE)

ClinksA short survey – the value of volunteers in Europe

CLINKS is We believe that volunteers play a vital role in the successful rehabilitation of offenders.

Our project ‘Justice Involving Volunteers in Europe’ (JIVE) is currently undertaking a piece of Europe-wide research in the form of the ‘Value of Volunteers in Europe’ survey. By completing the survey, you’ll be helping us to collect vital data that will enable us to better understand the role and value of volunteers working in criminal justice across Europe, and identify ways in which we can be even more effective and collaborative in our approach.

We are aware that little research exists on how and why organisations use volunteers within the area of prisons and working with ex-offenders, and so this survey will give you the opportunity to detail your experiences and achievements and help us begin a dialogue on best practice. Have your say here…

Click here to complete the survey

The Clinks-led Justice Involving Volunteers in Europe (JIVE) project establishes a partnership of NGOs from across Europe working within the CJS.
To find out more about the project, click here

         JIVE logo

Get involved Become a Member | Follow Clinks on Twitter | Join Mailing List

Contact Us www.clinks.org | info@clinks.org | 0207 248 3538

© Clinks, 2014

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

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Steph Cokeley

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 http://dva2014.wordpress.com/ 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
Email: Peta.curno@dudley.gov.uk
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

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

Where?
- 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 loraine@insightforcarers.org or stu@insightforcarers.org
- 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.

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