OPP OF THE DAY: Low Vision Plus Support Volunteer, Beacon Centre Stourbridge

This is an exciting volunteer opportunity that offers great experience in a very rewarding role, making a huge difference to the lives of people living with sight loss.
  • To assist and support the Low Vision Plus Service and Equipment & Advice Officer
  • To communicate appointments and feedback from Clients
  • To administer the Wireless for the Blind process
  • To administer data entry onto appropriate systems

The role is best suited to those who are comfortable and confident with meeting and speaking to people with a range of disabilities.

You must be able to demonstrate empathy and not be judgemental when talking to clients

You must be prepared to undertake onsite training regarding current products and strategies

Being reliable and trustworthy with excellent communication skills is essential.

A basic competency in IT skills is essential

Becky Sinar
Contact number: 01384 440333

Seven Deadly Sins [1] Disorganisation @DudleyCVS @NCVOVolunteers #wiseupwednesdays

sds -1Our first deadly sin is DISORGANISATION – involving volunteers with no planning. As we all know, planning ahead is the key to ensuring success in what we do and involving volunteers is no different.  Although you may desperately need volunteers to help you out in your group or organisation, it’s best to think about a few things first!

  • Talking to staff team/other volunteers – if it’s the first time you’ve involved volunteers, make sure you discuss it with your staff team first, to ensure they understand that the volunteers are not there to do them out of a job, but are taking on a complementary role, such as helping them to better support clients attending a day centre. If you are an existing team of committed volunteers who’ve been together for a long time, discuss together why you may need to involve other volunteers, so they are welcomed and made to feel part of the team.
  • Who will support them – volunteers should have support, so you need to think who will do so and if they have the right skills. The Volunteer Centre runs training called ‘Essential Volunteer Management’, so it may be a good idea to enrol them on the next course.
  • Where to put them – do you have physical space for them to volunteer? If they are for example helping with an admin role, is there somewhere to sit and do their tasks?
  • Finances – volunteers are not free and require at least an investment of time. Do you have the resources to support them properly? Also, ideally volunteers should not be out of pocket, so do you have a budget for volunteers expenses? If you can’t afford to pay volunteer expenses and you tell them this, it’s their choice whether to volunteer for you or not. If you are looking at a funding bid, it’s always sensible to factor in volunteer expenses where possible too. 
  • Training – are your volunteers going to need training? If so do you have a budget and/or a member of the team to deliver it? 
  • Role and role description – every volunteer should have one of these, so they know exactly what their role and responsibilities are. We have some great templates if you are not sure where to start.

Plan recruitment process – you need to consider:

  • Where you will look for volunteers
  • How you will promote the opportunities
  • Various stages of the recruitment process, including looking at the interview process and how you’ll assess skills.
  • Have you got an application form?
  • Do you need to make special arrangements for volunteers who may have a disability, not have English as a first language etc.?
  • Can existing staff volunteer?
  • How to manage service users who want to volunteer
  • Again the Volunteer Centre can help you with this if you need support.

Policies/procedures and statutory responsibilities – you will need to look at the following:

  • Will you take volunteers through Job Centre Plus? Do you need guidance re: benefits?
  • Risk assessments
  • Screening e.g. DBS check/references
  • Health and safety
  • Insurance
  • Data protection
  • Confidentiality agreement

Other good practice to plan ahead!

  • How are you going to value volunteers? – although this may not involve formal planning as such, it’s important to recognise and value each and every volunteer.
  • Induction – every volunteer should have an induction so they understand their role, meet colleagues and know important information such as health and safety considerations, their rights and also where the kettle is!
  • Handbook – is another important tool when involving volunteers. This a useful resource for them with essential information about their organisation, role and practical things like how to claim expenses.
  • Exit strategy – although this may seem a strange thing to plan, you need to consider how you will support volunteers who wish to leave and it’s essential you know why they are leaving where possible, as it may indicate problems within your organisation, or with other staff/volunteers.

I need help!

The Volunteer Centre can help you with any area of good practice when involving volunteers, so please get in touch volunteer@dudleycvs.org.uk or 01384 573381 and ask for Eileen

OPP OF THE DAY: Digital Workshop Volunteer, Beacon Centre Stourbridge

To support visually-impaired customers learning to use digital printing and manufacturing equipment and related software, including;

  • Laser cutters
  • 3D printers
  • T-shirt and mug presses
  • Design software e.g. Corel Draw; Adobe Illustrator; Cura and Blender

The volunteer will be working one to one or in small groups, with the support of a member of staff.

The role requires someone with intermediate computer skills and good communication. A friendly approachable manner is essential, as are reliability and a commitment to confidentiality.

Becky Sinar
Contact number: 01384 440333

A self-study workbook for charity shop volunteers.

Is self-study the way forward for your volunteer training programme?  

NEW – role specific self-study workbooks for volunteers from VOLUNTEER SOLUTIONS

I don’t normally share this kind of post, but I came have bought several training packs from Volunteer Solutions, who produce lots of training materials for the voluntary sector in all sorts of areas. They are voluntary sector based, so their packs are tailored to the sector.  Just thought this may be useful or of interest to you?

Everyone recognises the importance of training volunteers, but with funding and time constraints it sometimes gets put to one side.

We know from feedback that our Volunteer Self-study workbooks help you to deliver general training. Now in response to requests we are developing role specific self-study workbooks.
First in this series is the self-study workbook for Charity Shop volunteers (details below).

Others will follow soon.

If there is a volunteer self-study workbook you would like developed – get in touch.

A self-study workbook for charity shop volunteers.

Being a charity shop volunteer should not just be a case of ‘turn up and get stuck in’ ; in these days of competitiveness and the need to optimise income there is a bit more to it than that. As your face on the High Street your volunteers need to understand the importance of their role in the bigger fundraising picture; as well as having some strategies to deal with any challenges they face while maintaining good customer relations.

On completion of the workbook participants will:

  • have information on the history and current situation regarding charity shops
  • have an understanding of the organisation’s retail operations – the purpose and aims
  • have explored their role as a charity shop assistant
  • have identified any policies that may affect their role or the shops operation
  • have reflected more on their role in terms of good practice and customer service
  • have considered how they might deal with any challenges they may face
  • have thought about their progression within the shop

This Workbook is available as a download only.

Also included in the download is

  •  A complimentary multi-licence Skills Portfolio for use by your volunteers
  • A sample completion certificate in Word for you to customise

Order on line at

Price £8.00
This is the first in our volunteer role specific self-study workbook series produced in response to numerous requests.

Other titles in this role specific series will be available shortly and we are happy to produce a self-study workbook specific to your volunteer roles.

OPP OF THE DAY: Volunteers to help with instruction and charity support, Sea Cadets

Sea Cadets are recruiting for Volunteers and Cadets in our area. The Sea Cadets are the UKs largest maritime youth organisation and aim to provide vital life skills and adventure for its cadets & volunteers. They are looking for volunteers to help with instruction and charity support. Full training is provided and many qualifications can be gained for adults. If you fancy a adventure then check out their website to find your local unit – https://www.sea-cadets.org/ or email dwsouthwest@ms-sc.org.”

Get the tools you need to manage volunteers effectively @DudleyCVS

Are you new to managing volunteers?

Do you think you need to update your volunteer management systems?

Have you suddenly acquired volunteer management responsibilities and don’t know where to start?

Why not book a place on our next training session in April?

Whatever your needs, our special full day session on volunteer management techniques and tools is bound to help!

You will take a journey through every element of good practice for a volunteer programme, right from preparing necessary policies before involving volunteers, through planning volunteer involvement, recruiting, supporting, retaining, to volunteers leaving. Every learner will be provided with a resource CD of information sheets, publications and sample documents to take away and of course, the Volunteer Centre will be happy to support learners as they develop their systems, offering ongoing support and information.

OPP OF THE DAY: Welcome Volunteer, The Hope Centre

Volunteers to welcome visitors to our centre. You will need good listening skills and be happy to sit down with people who want to have a chat.

You will need good listening skills and be happy to sit down with people who want to have a chat.


Camilla Phillips
Email: hopecentre@hotmail.com
Tel: 0121 602 1744