One day until our Virtual Volunteers Week 2020 and we would love you to meet some of our amazing volunteers @WeAreBCR

Volunteers Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering.

We have been so fortunate to have over 600 wonderful local people sign up to support our six Dudley CVS Covid Locality Networks and they are out there in the community, making a huge impact to those who are isolated and vulnerable, dropping off medication or doing food shops.  We have selected 7 stars (including a double act!) who have been supporting these networks for the past few months and will be recognising a star every day of Volunteers Week.

Please join us every day from  1st-7th June to hear some very special volunteers tell us why they love what they have been doing. Our first star tomorrow is Rose, so why keep your eyes peeled for our daily stars?

We still need to recognise those amazing volunteers so let’s get creative!

This year, because of the coronavirus situation, many organisations have taken the difficult decision not to go ahead with all the things they would usually do for Volunteers’ Week, so we are going virtual. For some ideas on how you can celebrate your own wonderful volunteers please see our inspirational post with some ideas and e-thank you cards please click here

Women in Lockdown: Research Participants Wanted! @WeAreBCR

Women & Theatre is developing an ambitious online community production involving women across Birmingham & the Black Country as research participants & performers. Women in Lockdown will use music & ensemble performance to share authentic accounts of the impact of social isolation on women in this unique period of History.

We would like to speak to women of all ages and backgrounds from Birmingham & the Black Country about their ‘lockdown’ stories and reflections of this time. Research will take place in May 2020 and interviews can happen over the phone, via email or zoom, individually or in groups.

To get involved, please contact: jesspearson@womenandtheatre.co.uk or 07849 214 799.

This project is funded by Arts Council England.

It’s one week until Virtual Volunteers Week 1-7 June 2020 @NCVOvolunteers @WeAreBCR #volunteersweek

Help us recognise the contributions of our incredible local volunteers

Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering. This year, because of the coronavirus situation, many organisations have taken the difficult decision not to go ahead with all the things they would usually do for Volunteers’ Week.

We still need to recognise those amazing volunteers so let’s get creative!

So what could you do for your volunteers even if you can’t meet them physically?  We all have some fabulous volunteers and the coronavirus pandemic is a stressful, and isolating time for many of us, affecting not just our physical, but also our mental health and wellbeing. Volunteers are no different, particularly if they are currently supporting with the pandemic, supporting communities and isolated, vulnerable individuals.

  • Ring your volunteers to check in with them and say a personal thank you if you can, or perhaps you would prefer something more interactive. Why not set up a Zoom call to your volunteers? If you have lots of volunteers you may need to do several sessions, but they are worth it aren’t they?
  • Add some fun to your online chat and organise a virtual morning coffee or afternoon tea party, suggesting they join in with a cuppa and of course a piece of cake! Have a relaxed chat and you can then see for yourself how they are and if they are coping with the social isolation. It may be that some of them need a little one-to-one support from you, or you may need to signpost them to a local group who could offer shopping or meds collection, or some telephone befriending.
  • Post them a thank you card or certificate to say you appreciate them.
  • Or you could send them an e-thank you card to recognise their contribution. Eileen from the Volunteer Centre has created two different designs [one to recognise Covid volunteering and another generic thank you card], which she is happy to customise for your organisation.  Just contact her on eileen@dudleycvs.org.uk with your logo and organisation name, and she can send the personalised e-card back as a picture or PDF file.

Queen’s Birthday Honours List delayed until autumn due to COVID-19 but you can nominate your personal hero for a special award @WeAreBCR

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List, which recognises the achievements of a wide-range of UK figures, has been postponed from its traditional June date this year due to the coronavirus.

The awards, ranging from knighthoods to MBEs, were scheduled to be handed out on the 94-year-old royal’s birthday on the second Saturday in June (her ‘official’ birthday, not her actual birthday which she recently celebrated on April 21), which this year falls on June 12.

Instead, they will now be pushed back until the autumn, according to BBC journo Lizo Mzimba who took to twitter to state that PM Boris Johnson had confirmed the news in a statement to Parliament. “The list and future lists will include individuals being recognized for efforts related to Covid-19,” he wrote.

HOW TO NOMINATE YOUR PERSONAL HERO 

You can nominate your personal hero who’s gone the extra mile during the crisis and made a real difference to you personally, or people that you know e.g. a volunteer who has been looking after isolated individuals, or who has given hours to their local foodbank.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-honours-nomination-form

Virtual Volunteers Week 1-7 June 2020 Help us recognise the contributions of our incredible local volunteers @WeAreBCR #volunteersweek

Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering. This year, because of the coronavirus situation, many organisations have taken the difficult decision not to go ahead with all the things they would usually do for Volunteers’ Week.

We still need to recognise those amazing volunteers so let’s get creative!

So what could you do for your volunteers even if you can’t meet them physically?  We all have some fabulous volunteers and the coronavirus pandemic is a stressful, and isolating time for many of us, affecting not just our physical, but also our mental health and wellbeing. Volunteers are no different, particularly if they are currently supporting with the pandemic, supporting communities and isolated, vulnerable individuals.

  • Ring your volunteers to check in with them and say a personal thank you if you can, or perhaps you would prefer something more interactive. Why not set up a Zoom call to your volunteers? If you have lots of volunteers you may need to do several sessions, but they are worth it aren’t they?
  • Add some fun to your online chat and organise a virtual morning coffee or afternoon tea party, suggesting they join in with a cuppa and of course a piece of cake! Have a relaxed chat and you can then see for yourself how they are and if they are coping with the social isolation. It may be that some of them need a little one-to-one support from you, or you may need to signpost them to a local group who could offer shopping or meds collection, or some telephone befriending.
  • Post them a thank you card or certificate to say you appreciate them.
  • Or you could send them an e-thank you card to recognise their contribution. Eileen from the Volunteer Centre has created two different designs [one to recognise Covid volunteering and another generic thank you card], which she is happy to customise for your organisation.  Just contact her on eileen@dudleycvs.org.uk with your logo and organisation name, and she can send the personalised e-card back as a picture or PDF file.

Become a Street Champion during #clapforcarers and support your local Foodbank @bcfoodbank @WeAreBCR

Whilst the whole of the country is on lockdown foodbanks have been relied upon more than ever and are really struggling with supplies at present. You can make a real impact in your local area by becoming a Street Champion and what better time to collect your donations than during Thursday’s Clap for Carers?

How to organise donations

  • Make some space where you can store donations in a cool, dry place
  • Print off some of the street collection flyers to encourage your neighbours to support
  • You may wish to add a phone number or email address to the flyer, just in case they can’t leave their items on a Thursday at 8 and you need to arrange to collect them
  • Distribute these safely through the letterboxes of your neighbours
  • Join in your street’s ‘Clap for Carers’ on Thursday at 8pm
  • Collect in the donations afterwards
  • Drop them off at your local Foodbank Collection Point

We have created a flyer for you to distribute to your neighbours

and some useful advice on keeping yourself safe whilst you are volunteering

What donations do they need?

THESE ARE THE FOOD ITEMS YOU CAN DONATE

  • Milk (UHT or powder, preferably semi-skimmed)
  • Sugar (500g/1kg)
  • Breakfast Cereal (preferably non-sugared)
  • Fruit Juice (1L carton long life)
  • Fruit Squash/Cordial
  • Jars Instant Coffee (small)
  • Instant Hot Chocolate (preferably to be made with water)
  • Pasta Sauce/Cooking Sauces
  • Tin/Carton Tomatoes
  • Pasta/Rice/Cous Cous 500g/1kg)
  • Packets of Instant Noodles
  • Tinned Vegetables
  • Potato (Instant Mash or tinned)
  • Tinned Meat/Fish
  • Tinned Pies
  • Tinned Fruit (in juice preferably)
  • Tin/Carton Rice/Sponge Pudding/Custard
  • Biscuits, Crackers, Crispbreads
  • Healthy Snacks (Raisins, Apricots etc)

THESE ARE THE NON-FOOD ITEMS YOU CAN DONATE

  • Can Opener
  • Shower Gel
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Anti-Bac Hand Gel
  • Tooth Brush/Toothpaste
  • Children’s Toothbrush/Paste
  • Flannel/Sponge
  • Tissues (small packs)
  • Nappies (all sizes)
  • Baby Wipes
  • Baby Lotion
  • Baby Wash/Shampoo
  • Sanitary Towels/Tampons
  • Toilet Roll
  • Shaving Gel/Foam (not razors)
  • Washing Up Liquid
  • Small Boxes of Washing Powder

Shortages

You can see what they are short of here:

https://www.blackcountryfoodbank.org.uk/support/shortages/

Locations

Our collection points across the area are run by volunteers and you can find your nearest collection point by following the link below.  You will find info about where to drop your donations and the times they are open.

https://www.blackcountryfoodbank.org.uk/locations/

Catch up with other volunteer managers over a virtual cuppa on 24th April 2020

With the current COVID-19 Pandemic I am still keen to engage with those of you who manage volunteers, so why not join me for a virtual cuppa via Skype?

Why not come along to one of our get-togethers for anyone who manages volunteers, be they a paid member of staff or a volunteer themselves.

Please join in to chat about all things volunteering and see if we can support each other with any challenges 🙂