OPP OF THE DAY: Volunteer to support volunteers and to do gardening, Jasmine Road Community Gardens

Description:Gardening
Digging, sowing seeds, maintaining gardens, watering, learning new skills, hedge trimming, tidying areas, pruning, cutting down bushes. There are many tasks; the tasks are important but we also value the experience for the volunteer – social and learning opportunities. We have started cooking lunch once a week and skills in this area would help us.
There is a variety of work to be done, but a commitment to our project is the most important part of being a Friend of Jasmine Road.

Ex-offenders would depend on what they were convicted for and on personal interview.

Disabled volunteers support/access: to be discussed. This role is for the support of such volunteers and while some disabilities would be fine, the role is to support others.

Any new people joining us must be aware that we are all volunteers. We do have policies in place for Health and Safety and Safeguarding but we are all working ‘on a level playing field.’ We do not accept bad behaviour or language, discrimination, racism or intolerance of any kind.

Skills:
Personal skills particularly in supporting vulnerable adults.
An ability to ‘get stuck in’ and join the group in whatever the tasks for the day are.

FOR MORE INFO OR TO APPLY please contact:

Janet Hilken
Email: janet@hilken.co.uk

Where Did The Light Go?

volunteerplaintalk

light_001
Dana died a week ago today. She had been battling lung cancer for the second time and finally succumbed to it at the young age of 67. She didn’t want to die but she had been told that it was inoperable, untouchable, unstoppable…. inevitable. Did she stop volunteering? No, not Dana.

She had come to training about twelve years before and at first, I didn’t know what to make of her, because her real passion lay in saving animals. She always resided with up to 14 rescued dogs and cats at a time, and would happily describe the tabby with paralyzed back legs or the silver muzzled terrier who was 16 years old. I wondered how she would do with Homo sapiens, but I was an idiot to have questioned her, because Dana loved her humans as much as she loved her animals and she particularly enjoyed working with terminally…

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OPP OF THE DAY: Volunteer Gardener, Jasmine Road Community Gardens

Description:wheelbarrow full of the dead flowers cut in autumn
Digging, sowing seeds, maintaining gardens, watering, learning new skills, hedge trimming, tidying areas, pruning, cutting down bushes. There are many tasks; the tasks are important but we also value the experience for the volunteer – social and learning opportunities. We have started cooking lunch once a week and skills in this area would help us.
There is a variety of work to be done, but a commitment to our project is the most important part of being a Friend of Jasmine Road.

Ex-offenders would depend on what they were convicted for and on personal interview.

Disabled volunteers support/access: to be discussed. As we are mostly volunteers the amount of support is limited. We currently have someone who is trained to care for adults with disabilities and issues but that funding is not permanent and we will have to continue to find it. If volunteers need extra help and are able to pay us for their support via their personal payments – we welcome this.

Further information:
Any new people joining us must be aware that we are all volunteers. We do have policies in place for Health and Safety and Safeguarding but we are all working ‘on a level playing field.’ We do not accept bad behaviour or language, discrimination, racism or intolerance of any kind.

Skills:
Able and willing to follow instructions.  An ability to ‘get stuck in’ and join the group  in whatever the tasks for the day are. Experience is not necessary for the basic volunteer role.

FOR MORE INFO OR TO APPLY please contact:

Janet Hilken
Email: janet@hilken.co.uk

Safeguarding Training

Dudley (CYPF) Network

logo_safeguarding_child_2014

There are now places available on the forthcoming training “Fabricated & Induced Illness and Safeguarding Children” to be held on 9th September.  For further details, please use the link provided.  A booking form is attached for completion and return should you wish to book a place on this course.

http://safeguarding.dudley.gov.uk/child/work-with-children-young-people/training/training-directory/fabricated-induced-illness/

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Seven Deadly Sins [2] Misinformation @DudleyCVS @NCVOVolunteers #wiseupwednesdays

sds -2Our second deadly sin is MISINFORMATION. Muddied messages and potential volunteers are definitely not a good thing, particularly when promoting volunteer roles.

Honest advertising and recruitment materials are essential when recruiting volunteers to ensure you get the right match for your role and organisation. When a volunteer is looking at your advert, they will be able to see if the role is right for them or not, giving them an opportunity to see if they have the right skills. You can always send them out a more detailed role description and the more information you give them, the better.

Your adverts don’t have to be lengthy, concise is good, but they need to have some basic information, so when you are putting together your materials, ensure you cover at least some of the following. If you can’t fit it all in the advert, why not give a weblink for more info?

Role title

Say what it is – don’t just put ‘volunteer’. After-school group leader, sports coach, befriender, treasurer, driver, carer… Do you need to use the word ‘volunteer’ at all?

Purpose

Why this role is important – what difference does it make?

What the volunteer will be doing?

Describe the main tasks/activities of the role:

  • Will it involve working on their own, or as part of a team, or assisting someone else?
  • What does it involve – e.g. travel, caring, manual work, organising, assisting, leading, teaching, customer service, computers, fundraising, arts, sports…? Indoors or outdoors?
  • What are the specific tasks?
  • If the role involves direct work with service-users/customers, give relevant information about their needs.

Skills, experience and qualities needed

Be clear and realistic about the minimum level of skill/experience required to start this role, (e.g. a community transport driver might need a clean driving licence and good people skills).

Although it might be tempting to compile a long list of the qualities of your ‘ideal’ volunteer, try to focus on what’s really important to get them started in the role.  For example, asking that people have a commitment to your aims and objectives at this stage (when they barely know what you do) could be quite off-putting to someone who’s only just heard of your organisation. Commitment will develop if volunteers are valued and treated with respect.  If the role is suitable for absolutely anyone, say so. Consider what support you could offer to help people develop once in the role.

When and where

  • Times/days needed – what days, what time of day, how often, how much flexibility is there?
  • Where will the volunteer be based? Is this different from the main organisational address? Will they work from home?

Support offered

Give information about expenses, induction and training, supervision/line management, insurance cover etc.

What they could get out of it

What are the benefits of volunteering with your organisation? E.g. job satisfaction, a supportive environment, training, learning new skills, using existing skills, chance to get out in the fresh air, meet new people, be part of something worthwhile…

Other information

Do volunteers need to be able to commit to a certain level of training?  Will they need to register with the Vetting and Barring Scheme because this role is ‘regulated activity’ (from July 2010)? What is involved in your application/selection process?

What to do if you’re interested

Contact details of a named person – give more than one method of contact.  Explain the process – what will happen next?

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

Huggable Book of Volunteering Stats or Why a Kiddie Pool Can’t Explain the Ocean

I love this post [as always ] and I think it’s so true! Volunteer Managers can’t log half of what they do – the soft stuff that’s so important in a volunteer programme. Stats don’t reflect half the things I do, so it looks like I spend my time filing my nails and swigging coffee. Got to share this one!

volunteerplaintalk

kiddie pool

“Stats, reports, time management sheets, I’m sick of all of them,” Clara lamented. “None of these truly depicts my day. When I include activities for volunteer retention on my day book, the entries look so superfluous. Unless I write paragraphs as to why spending time with a volunteer is necessary to retain them, it just sounds like I’m having a coffee break all day.” Clara laughs, “sometimes I think I’m just viewed as a caffeine junkie.”

Yes, stats,  the way we justify our actions. If you, like I, have struggled with showcasing the complex work involved with attaining, training and retaining volunteers, you feel Clara’s pain. Volunteer managers everywhere keep stats on all sorts of activities-impact, volunteer retention, volunteers trained, return on investment (ROI), clients served, events staffed, recruitment efforts, etc. We include anecdotal stories, quotes, pictures and anything else to illustrate the impact of our volunteers on organizational missions…

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