OPP OF THE DAY: Chatterbox Befriender – Omega

Chatterbox is our award-winning, flagship befriending service designed to support those who find themselves isolated, vulnerable, and/or alone in later life.

Volunteers with our Chatterbox programme are matched with a client, most of whom are socially isolated and/or lonely, with whom they organise a weekly phone call at a mutually convenient time. As well as offering a listening ear and companionship, our befrienders are able to sign post individuals to other agencies who may be able to offer further support as and when appropriate. We give our befrienders comprehensive training and support throughout their time with Omega.

All applicants to the Chatterbox programme will be expected to return a clear DBS check (we can accept DBS checks which have been completed in the last three years) and a telephone can be provided if required. Unfortunately, due to safeguarding legislation we are unable to accept Chatterbox Befriender applications from anyone under 18.

As a Chatterbox Befriender all of your volunteering time, from training to taking your phone calls, will be completed in the comfort of your own home.

The time of your phone calls will be mutually agreed between yourself and your client.

For more information about the organisation, Chatterbox, and/or to receive an application form, please email volunteersupport@omega.uk.net

How can I make my organisation a volunteer magnet? #wiseupwednesdays

recruitSocial Media

The growth of social media such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs, means that these are potential tools to reach out to new volunteers. If you don’t know much about social media or want to learn how to use the tools, Dudley CVS runs a number of free social media surgeries, which you can attend to develop your skills in this area.

Local Advertising

Many supermarkets have community notice boards as do Churches, Mosques, Temples, Community Centres, Schools and Leisure Centres, Libraries, Newsagents, corner shops and garages.  Ensure that it is a clean poster (change regularly if dog-eared or covered in graffiti) with up to date information on it.

Notice boards are very useful if you want local volunteers.  They may be a rich source for one-off events like fun-runs or fetes.  Remember to have interesting posters etc., and remove them when they are outdated.   If possible put a sign outside your own organisation or in your shop window, saying what kind of role(s) you are currently seeking volunteers for.

Local Newspapers

Local newspapers are approachable, sometimes free and helpful, particularly if your volunteer needs could link to something that is photogenic and of local interest.

Press Releases

Producing press releases and building links with the media has spin-offs for your work.  Often press releases are free of charge however, some organisations e.g. the Guardian (cheap volunteer ads on Wednesdays) may charge.

With a press release, keep the message simple.  Get someone who is not too involved to check your promotional literature, to check it is clear and free of jargon.

Remember: The most effective way to attract more volunteers is through word of mouth.  Volunteers tell other volunteers about their roles and this often encourages family, friends and colleagues to come forward to volunteer.   Through supporting and valuing your current volunteers you could ultimately attract more volunteers.

Places to Advertise for Volunteers

As mentioned research indicates that most volunteers will come by word of mouth however, below is listed a range of outlets/organisations, which may also complement the services you provide:

  • Local Schools, Student Community Action Groups at Colleges
  • Community Centres, Youth Clubs/Centres and Tenants Halls
  • Pre-retirement courses and links with local businesses
  • Clinics, Doctors Surgeries, Dentists and Opticians
  • Job Centres, Job Clubs, Rehabilitation Centres etc
  • Lions Rotary Club etc
  • Churches, Gurdwaras, Mosques, Temples etc
  • Libraries, Borough Council Offices, Hospitals, Police & Fires Stations
  • Specialist Organisations, self-help groups and professional agencies in your area of work
  • Post Offices, Garages, Supermarkets and Corner Shops
  • Sporting and Leisure Clubs
  • Advice and information organisations like the CAB.
  • Local Radio & TV e.g. the Community Channel
  • Talks to specialist/relevant audiences, religious groups, schools and colleges, youth clubs/organisations
  • Exhibitions either static in a library or shop, or mobile for a school or club
  • Leaflets, which can be for wide circulation or customised for different audiences
  • Open days at your centre or project
  • Devise a fancy dress or other promotional stunt
  • Distribution of leaflets to promote your organisations and for the recruitment of volunteers