5 great reasons to volunteer #tuneintuesdays

Welcome to a series of 5 short posts to help you see why volunteering is quite simply the best thing to do!

To kick start the series I would like to share some inspirational volunteering stores from NCVO’s ‘Where Volunteering Begins’ campaign on their You Tube Channel. These films are a few years old, but I feel they still have impact. Why not enjoy these and then tune in for the next 5 Tuesdays to see our 5 great reasons to volunteer?





OPP OF THE DAY: Retail Assistant – Loaves ‘n’ Fishes

Times of attendance

  • A minimum of a 4-hour shift is advisable
  • Provision House is open from 9 am – 4pm
  • A short interview needs to be arranged prior to an Induction to discuss suitability/availability for a volunteering position.

General duties to include:

  • Good Housekeeping of work/shop environment
  • Stock control of all donated clothes/household items
  • Quality control of all donated goods (clothes/household)
  • To ensure clothes stock is sorted/ stored into seasonal, stock or rag items.
  • Assisting customers
  • Rotating merchandise
  • Displaying of goods & clothes
  • Picking a delivery to specific requirements
  • Packing items safely for transit

Key Responsibilities:

  • To work efficiently & effectively as part of a team
  • To maintain Health & Safety procedures at all times
  • To work under the supervision of a Shop Manager/ Assistant Manager
  • To deliver excellent customer service at all times
  • To maintain visual merchandise of stock
  • To gain knowledge & understanding of quality control
  • Process payments
  • To complete a delivery to meet the specific needs of the service user
  • Complete relevant paperwork
  • Liaise with office/warehouse staff to ensure the needs of the service user are met


Kim Skinner
Email: volunteers@loavesnfishes.co.uk
Tel: 0121 285 3970

OPP OF THE DAY Reception and administration volunteers needed urgently!

Do you love talking to people? Have you got admin or computer skills?  If so we would love you to get in touch as we urgently need volunteers to join our team.

We have just moved to a wonderful new location in central Dudley and want to expand our service to support more people than ever from the local community, which means we need more volunteers to help us deal with calls and support with our back office administration.

If you are looking to expand your skills and make a real difference, please get in touch with Kim our Volunteer Co-ordinator on volunteers@loavesnfishes.co.uk

OPP OF THE DAY: Cycle Support Rider – Age UK Dudley

To promote Age UK Dudley’s services and activities for older people.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The role involves: Undergoing Volunteer Cycling Support Rider training, which includes:
– How to carry out a bicycle check (get client to make adjustments or recommend take to reputable cycle shop)
– Look at cycle routes
– carry out reconnoitres and risk assessments.
– How to ride with a group and the size of the group (recommend 6 – 8 riders maximum to 2 Support Riders) and associated etiquette to cycling in a group.
– Assessing ability of cycling participants.
– Communication between front and back Support Riders.
– Legalities of riding, such as lights, helmets, etc.
– Be aware of accident procedure
– Undergoing Criminal Records Bureau check
– Wear yellow vests to identify Support Riders
– Obtain name, contact, age and Next of Kin contact details of cycling participants
– Have Outdoor Health Questionnaires completed by participants.
– Support cycle rides – warm up, brisk ride, warm down. Build in ‘progression’ to subsequent rides, increasing speed, length or including inclines.
– Observe participants, warn of dangers (such as traffic, uneven surfaces, obstacles, etc) and give assistance where needed.
– On Cycle Ride Attendance Register, write short report of the ride such as weather conditions, incidents, etc. – Forward attendance registers to LEAP Over 60 Project on a monthly basis

Your role will also require you:
– To attend volunteer meetings and undertake any further training required.
– To wear a name badge when attending cycle rides and to carry a personal identity card when on Age UK Dudley Business
– To contact the emergency services (999 or 112) in case of emergency.
– To ensure the Project Co-ordinator is informed of any problems.


René Evans
Email: volunteer@ageukdudley.org.uk
Tel: 01384 356150

Should I stay or should I go?  What to do if things aren’t working out #tuneintuesdays



Every relationship has its ups and downs, and volunteering relationships are no different.  When things go wrong volunteers invariably blame themselves, but often it’s not their fault.  Here are a few things to think about when things aren’t going well with your volunteering relationship.

  • Where it all began

Think back to when you joined the organisation. Did you have an induction which included explaining your role within the organisation, useful information, meeting other people and perhaps a handbook, with policies, procedures, contacts etc for you to keep? Were your queries all dealt with? Did you feel content and ready to volunteer?

  • Are you receiving support from the organisation?

Do you have regular support or supervision sessions with the person who manages you? Are there opportunities to raise any concerns and are these dealt with to your satisfaction?  Do you feel like you are being listened to, supported and any concerns addressed?

  • Manage your expectations

Is your role still right for you? Is it no longer challenging you or too demanding? What about changing your role?  Did you get the impression that you would be given more training or opportunities to grow into other roles that have not materialised? If you have raised these concerns at support sessions have they been addressed?

  • Do you have concerns about the clients you support?

There should be a procedure for raising any concerns. Make sure you talk to the person who manages you and report your concerns. Don’t worry about this on your own, you need to raise it with someone who can sort it.

  • Is it working for the org but not for you?

Do you feel like you’ve lost your mojo? Are you no longer enjoying your volunteering? Is everything fine, but you just feel like you no longer love your role?  Have you changed your role? Maybe it was a mistake and the new one is not right for you?  Have your personal circumstances changed and you don’t feel you can give 100% any more. Maybe you need a volunteering break? Have a chat with the person who manages you. I’m sure they would rather try to help you feel fulfilled again than lose you as a volunteer.

How to take the next step and get your relationship back on track

  • Minor concerns 

Talk to the person who manages you and tell them how you feel. Challenge things you aren’t happy about. Hopefully they will help you try to resolve things as I’m sure they won’t want to lose you.

  • More serious concerns

Your organisation with have a Problem solving policy to help resolve concerns. Just follow the guidance in there and hopefully this will resolve the issue.  If it can’t be resolved to your satisfaction, you may need to walk away.

  • Seek some independent advice

Volunteer Centres are here to help and can offer confidential impartial support and information, alongside advocacy and mediation. If you just need someone to talk to about what’s happening with your volunteering get in touch and we will do our best to help.

OPP OF THE DAY: Walk Leaders – Age UK Dudley

The volunteer role involves walk leading and supporting other volunteer walk leaders.

Duties and Responsibilities:

– Undergoing Volunteer Walk Leader Training
– To agree to a Criminal Records Bureau Check
– Pioneer walks – (reconnoitre)
– Carry out risk assessments at walk locations
– Obtain name, contact, age and Next of Kin contact details of walk participants
– Complete Health  Walk questionnaires from participants
– Lead 30-minute walks – warm up, brisk walk, warm down.  Build in ‘progression’ to subsequent walks, increasing speed, length or including inclines
– Observe participants, warn of dangers (such as tree roots on path) and give assistance
– On Walk Attendance Register, write short report of walk such as weather conditions, incidents, etc
– Forward walk attendance registers to LEAP Over 60 Project on a monthly basis
– Contact the emergency services (999) in case of emergency
– Ensure the Project Co-ordinator is informed of any problems
– Adhere to relevant Age Concern policies and procedures
– To wear a personal identity badge whilst volunteering


– A liking for and an empathy with older people
– The ability to work as part of a team
– Good listening skills and an understanding of safety issues
– An understanding of the need for confidentiality
– Sense of humour
– Good timekeeping
– Reliability and trustworthiness


René Evans
Email: volunteer@ageukdudley.org.uk
Tel: 01384 356150