WHAT IS VOLUNTEERS’ WEEK?
Volunteers’ Week is an annual event run by NCVO, The National Council for Voluntary Organisations. It is a time to say thank you for the fantastic contribution volunteers make. As well as helping others, volunteering has been shown to improve volunteers’ wellbeing too.
It’s human nature to feel good after helping someone out. Volunteering can also help you gain valuable new skills and experiences, and boost your confidence.
During the week, hundreds of events and celebrations take place across the country, saying thank you to volunteers and recognising their invaluable and diverse contribution to the UK.
HOW WERE WE CELEBRATING IN MILTON KEYNES?
There were lots of events happening in Milton Keynes during the Volunteers’ Week 2019. We run volunteering drop-ins and pop-up activities in various locations in Milton Keynes.
We teamed up with a number of local groups and organisations to publish blogs sharing their volunteering stories and roles. Special focus was given to organisations such as Wolverton Community Orchard, Volunteering Matters, Buckingham Canal Society, MK Safety Centre (known as Hazard Alley), MK Sailability, Blue Cross and others!
Below you can see our programme of activities for the Week:
How did it go?
CA:MK’s Volunteer’s Week 2019 was a hit, with plenty of on-the-ground action, celebrating and saying thank you to all the volunteer’s across the different communities in Milton Keynes!
#Volunteersweek as seen by Community Action: MK
We journeyed out and about into the local communities of Milton Keynes to promote and celebrate all types of volunteers!
‘ Wolverton Community Orchard were wonderful hosts, with the Orchard itself housing several fruit trees, pockets of peace and a lovely sensory garden for all ages to enjoy! The volunteers there give their time and work hard to maintain the tranquil garden, whether it’s teaching schools about wildlife, planting patches of wild flowers or building a dragon out of their unused compost, their commitment to this well-kept Orchard is to be commended! Click here to view their Facebook page to find out more about this wonder of Wolverton!’ ‘
To view the rest of this blog post about where else we ventured out to, follow this link
” From January to March 2019, CA:MK funded by the Co-op Foundation embarked on the ‘Building Connections’ project. The objective was to explore loneliness in young people aged 8-25 years of age and how community spaces might be utilised to lessen loneliness. We undertook our work in the community of Conniburrow in Milton Keynes where we have use of a Community Hub and Orchard.To find out more about Sid, the BLC and projects such as Building Connections, click here
During the project we worked closely with local schools and residents in the community. The local school council was very helpful in co-designing a questionnaire that was circulated amongst peers. We also obtained information from residents living in houses of multiple occupancy, as previous interactions had indicated that residents of this type of accommodation are at increased likelihood of feeling lonely.
The results of the questionnaires was somewhat surprising. 66% of the school children surveyed told us that they felt lonely some of the time and shared that they would like to take part in craft or physical activities to lessen loneliness. Armed with this information we hosted a free craft session at the Hub and later on, a Treasure Hunt around the estate. These were great opportunities for people who wouldn’t ordinarily meet, to get to know new people.
Our findings have brought to the forefront that loneliness is a real issue amongst young people. It’s really not an issue that impacts only the old. Going forward we will share our findings in order that partners can consider the prevalence of youth loneliness in their work. In our own projects, we have further youth activities planned. Not only do we hope to provide more social opportunities, we also hope young people will get involved in shaping future provision. “
HOW TO FIND A VOLUNTEER ROLE IN MILTON KEYNES?
There are hundreds of volunteering roles available at the many amazing groups and organisations in Milton Keynes.
You can search for roles online through Simply Connect, the volunteering platform for Milton Keynes – follow this link to find a volunteering role that suits your interests, location and availability now!
You can also visit our weekly volunteering drop-in at Acorn House, MK9 3HP, to speak to one of our volunteering advisors!
If you are a local not-for-profit group or an organisation and need volunteers to help you with your projects, you can use Simply Connect to advertise your opportunities – follow this link to find out more and to set-up your free organisational account.
HOW TO STAY UP-TO-DATE & HEAR NEWS FROM VOLUNTEERS’ WEEK?
Tune in to our blog (sign-up to receive our newsletter here) and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date, and to read some inspirational stories and case studies about volunteering in Milton Keynes!
To find out more about what is happening as part of the Volunteer’s Week nationally, visit: https://volunteersweek.org.
INVOLVING VOLUNTEERS – FREE ONLINE COURSE
Volunteer Scotland and the Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership at The Open University Business School have developed a short course on volunteering. The course is about the essential things you need to consider to ensure a positive experience for individuals engaging in volunteering.
Please follow this link to find out more and to enroll.