Volunteers’ Week 2015 – it’s nearly here!

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Monday 1st June sees the start of Volunteers’ Week 2015 and a great chance to celebrate the role volunteers play in your organisation.

NCVO have produced a range of materials and opportunities to help you get involved. Why not start your celebrations by joining the twitter party on 1 June? Taking part is easy! Follow the @NCVOvolunteers twitter account and send your thank you messages to your volunteers using #volunteersweek.

You could also ask your volunteers to share their experiences on social media using #ivolunteer. Getting involved helps to showcase the diversity of volunteering roles and the impact volunteers are having in their communities to inspire others to get involved.

Add your Volunteers’ Week event to the map to ensure people can find an event near them and NCVO can help promote it.

And last but by no means least, get your Volunteers’ Week bunting to add the finishing touch to your celebrations by downloading the digital resource pack. Sign up here to receive your pack.

We hope you have lots of fun next week!

Volunteering

Wolverton Secret Garden Benefits from Home Retail Group Help

Thursday 21st May saw Angela Roberts, and her enthusiastic team from Store Operations, Home Retail Group complete a community project – they rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in clearing ivy from the pathways, weeding, pruning and making bonfires at the Wolverton Secret Garden!

The difference they made was huge and it was very much appreciated by the Secret Garden.

Roger Kitchen, one of a small group of ageing volunteers maintaining the Secret Garden said

‘The group have made such a difference, there is a huge visible impact. They shared some great ideas about creating a seating area so hopefully people will come and enjoy the space. The sun is shining and the place is transformed’

Angela Roberts, Team Leader said

“As a team we wanted to make a difference and have something tangible where we could see at the end of the day the difference we had made. As a team very few of us live in Milton Keynes and this is the first opportunity we have had to spend time getting to know each other outside of the office, it is a real team bonding event’

Angela also explained her family connection with Wolverton as both her Father and Grandfather had links to Wolverton Works so it felt important to give something back where she had family involvement.

Another team member said

‘We definitely have blisters and scratches from today but it’s been worth it! At one point we got a fire going to burn all the ivy that we had cut down and the men in particular enjoyed their cave man like moment’!

This is one example of the incredible difference that businesses can make when they work together with communities. If you are a business and want to know more or if you know of a group that could benefit from a range of skills and support from volunteers please get in touch with Community Action: MK.

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Rainbows places available for girls in Woughton Area.

Beanhill Rainbows are currently looking for new girls aged 5-7 for spaces in their group.

As part of the Girlguiding family, Rainbows gives “girls a space where they can be themselves, have fun, build brilliant friendships, gain valuable life skills and make a positive difference to their lives and their communities.” Find out more about Girlguiding here.

Register your daughter for Rainbows.

Not aged 5-7? You can also register girls for local Brownies (age 7-10) and Guides (age 10-14) groups at the same link.

Beanhill Rainbows are also seeking a new Volunteer Helper, no previous experience is required and training can be given. If you are interested in volunteering with the group contact Kay Wales – beanhillrainbows@outlook.com.

Communities Volunteering

Communication skills workshop for Volunteers

The Education and Learning Co-Ordinator for Relate Milton Keynes is currently in the process of surveying local charities and voluntary organisations to get their opinion on a workshop they are hoping to deliver (pending receipt of lottery funding).

The aim of this free one-day workshop would be to help volunteers develop their communication, listening and client support skills, which would then enable them to have more confidence and increased skills when dealing with clients in their community. Relate plan to deliver the workshops in various locations around Milton Keynes.

If you are interested please contact

Julie Maxwell

Clinical Supervisor &

Education & Learning Co-Ordinator

Relate Milton Keynes

47 Aylesbury Street

Wolverton

Milton Keynes

MK12 5HX

Telephone:   01908 310010

Blog Post News from and for the VCS Volunteering

Could your group benefit from a micro-volunteer?

As part of Community Action MK’s celebrations during Volunteers’ Week (1st-7th June), we will be holding a ‘micro-volunteering lucky dip’ during our volunteer drop in and other events.

We’d love to hear from you if your charity or community group would like to submit an opportunity to the lucky dip. Please complete this short online form and we will contact you to let you know if your opportunity fits the criteria and can be entered into the dip.

To help you work out what you could ask for help with, a micro-volunteering action has some and ideally all of the following attributes:

  • Bite sized: can be completed in under 2 hours.
  • Non location based: participation can be accomplished from almost anywhere in the world.
  • Visible feedback: volunteers like to see how they have contributed and who else is participating.
  • Non discriminatory: should be able to be completed by people with disabilities.
  • No training: provide an action that has little or no training required.
  • Simple instructions: ideally a volunteer should understand how to participate in three easy steps.
  • No vetting interviews.
  • No registration.
  • Free to participate.
  • Incentives: provide something for the ‘what’s in it for me’ attitude as in peer recognition or something more materialistic.
  • No commitment: think about a volunteer being able to ‘dip-in, dip-out’.
  • Flexible participation: action should ideally be globally accessible, 24/7 and not when the volunteer coordinators are working.
  • No age restriction: so long as a person is web savvy, then that is normally all that is required.

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Volunteering

Connection Floating Support Looking for Volunteers

via MK Web:

[Based on the possibility of closure Connection Floating Support,] a housing charity that helps people avoid homelessness and achieve independence, were unable to give hours to their volunteers who have now gone elsewhere.

Despite having some funding cut, the charity are able to continue their work in Milton Keynes and are now having to start again and are calling for volunteers, vital to their work.

The charity wants to fight the stigmas associated with homelessness and continue to work with MKC to help people overcome housing problems which can come as a result of debt or addiction problems.

For the full story, and for details of how you can help, please go to MK Web.

Blog Post News from and for the VCS Volunteering