OPP OF THE DAY: Volunteer Administrative Assistant, Dudley Mind

dudley MINDExamples of the types of tasks you may be asked to while volunteering at Dudley Mind head office:
1. To provide general administration support to Dudley Mind staff including filing, photocopying, shredding, letter writing.
2. To undertake reception duties, including answering the telephone and responding to, or redirecting calls as appropriate.
3. To input confidential data into, and maintain, the Psiams system.
4. To deal with incoming and outgoing post.
5. To respond to enquiries via email.
6. To assist with updating the Dudley Mind website.
7. To order and maintain stationary supplies.
8. To prepare information packs to be sent out.
9. To undertake any training relevant to this post.
10. To work in accordance with Dudley Mind’s policies and procedures.

What you can expect from us:
– We will provide training.
– We will provide an induction pack.
– We will provide ongoing support through the HR and Office Manager.
– We will organise regular training for personal development.
– We will inform you of any training courses which may be of interest.
– We will complete references for future employment, after volunteering at Dudley Mind for 6 months.
– We will reimburse any reasonable out-of-pocket expenses.

Volunteers must be over the age of 18.

Wheelchair access: The majority of tasks are seated. Access is possible but movement around the office is tight or would be in a wheelchair due to the age of the building there is little we can do to resolve this.

What we would like from you:
– To attend Dudley Mind’s Volunteer Induction training.
– Dudley Mind hopes you will be available to volunteer on a regular basis for at least 6 months.
– To try to attend regular support and training events.
– To adhere to Dudley Mind’s policies and guidelines which include confidentiality and health and safety
– We need people who are reliable and who can be left alone to complete set tasks
– We need people who will be empathetic and supportive towards people with Mental health problems
– Basic IT skills
– Good Communication skills.

FOR MORE INFO OR TO APPLY please contact:

Kate Cooke
HR and Office Manager
Email: kate.cooke@dudleymind.org.uk
Tel: 01384 442938
Website: www.dudleymind.org.uk


Seven Deadly Sins [1] Disorganisation @DudleyCVS #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

Guns, Gangs and Knives

On Tuesday 9th August at Valley Road Youth Club, Lye, a police officer named Pc Rob Pedley will bePolice doing a talk on the above. If you haven’t witnessed Rob’s presentation before then you really need to attend this 2 hour session. The officer also talks about his personal battles since his Skiing accident 7 years ago which resulted with him nearly dying on a mountain.

If you like to attend this very interesting session then please contact me and book a seat.

There is no charge for this event.

If you feel any young person would benefit from this talk then please let me know. Pc Pedley talks mainly in schools and colleges so his session is appropriate for 14 year olds and upwards.

Please forward this info to anyone you feel would like to attend but I will need to be contacted to book. PLEASE see below for a little more information.

Precious Lives Presentations and Workshops.

Precious Lives Presentations 70 mins

Usually delivered to whole year groups in a hall setting. It looks at recent youth murders and how everyday young people made a choice which had life changing consequences for so many. It is focused around knife crime but has been adapted to a wide range of audiences covering varied topics from drugs and anti-social behaviour to being more motivated to achieve at school.

The presentation includes Alison Cope as guest speaker. Alison’s son Joshua Ribera was stabbed and murdered in Selly Oak in September 2013, he was well known within the grime music scene as Depzman with over 36 million views of his music videos on youtube.  Alison tells his life story leading up to the night of his murder and how many lives were changed that night by the actions of one person.  Alison is 2015 Pride of Birmingham winner.

Pc Paul Davies 8331
Young Persons Officer
Partnership Team
Brierley Hill Police Station
101 851 3091
0121 626 8127
Twitter @pcpaul999

Get connected with social media at our Social Media Surgeries @DudleyCVS @WeAreBCR

If you are from a charity, community or voluntary group, and want help to use social media better, then please search for a surgery and sign up for one. If you want to volunteer to help at a surgery (and experience some #socialglow) please do the same. If you just want to run one surgery on a voluntary basis, register now.

There are local ones in around Dudley borough, so why not click on teh nearest one to you for more info and to book a place

They are friendly, fun and informal, so why not come along and see how our ‘surgeons’ can help.

The seven deadly sins when involving volunteers! @DudleyCVS @NCVOVolunteers #wiseupwednesdays

seven deadly sins

I suspect you’ve read the heading several times and thought, why is this post about seven deadly sins? What on earth have the seven deadly sins got to do with volunteers?

In truth this series of posts has grown from ever increasing incidences of poor practice from groups who involve volunteers and I thought I would try to address these in a slightly different way, rather than preaching the benefits of good practice when involving volunteers.  I am sure none of these practices go on in your group or organisation, but they are happening out there for sure!

They are called deadly sins, as these are things that can kill your volunteer programme if allowed to continue and could cost you volunteers along the line, as well as your reputation as a great organisation to volunteer with. It’s not rocket science and a few simple steps can ensure that volunteer involvement is heaven rather than hell, so please take heed and try to avoid these seven deadly sins!

  1. Disorganisation
  2. Misinformation
  3. Non-communication
  4. Formality
  5. Neglect
  6. Ingratitude
  7. Detachment