Volunteering projects help real change to happen

Voluntary Action Sheffield has developed materials to demonstrate to potential volunteers the positive impact that volunteering can have on their CVs in cases where they may have been unemployed for some time or have limited or no relevant work experience in the field in which they wish to work.

Helping people to understand how highly employers value volunteering experience is key. Hannah Martin’s story is a great example of this (PDF, 310KB).

Another great example of real change was where Exeter and North Devon Volunteer Centres engaged a Voluntary Advisory Worker, who reports that "one of the key facets of the role is to actively develop new volunteering roles on a needs basis. If someone wants to volunteer in a particular organisation or area I will go to the organisation and offer to support them to involve volunteers and create a new role."

One example of this is a man in a North Devon town who has filled in hundreds of job applications and cannot find work in his trade (read Sean’s story, PDF, 110 KB). He then came to me about volunteering opportunities and I asked him: where would you like to volunteer? He said with his son’s swimming club. I have now brokered a new role for him teaching children to swim and at the same time providing support to the organisation around volunteer policies, agreements, CRBs etc. They will also provide him with training which means reskilling into an occupation where there is work in the local area. I am now looking to see if there is money from the local Job Centre for him to train as a lifeguard which there is a need for in the local area.”

Not only do projects support volunteers, but they support organisations to start engaging or more effectively engage volunteers, which helps both the organisation and the volunteer.

For more details on the Volunteering for Stronger Communities Project contact Caroline Cook, Project Manager.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 07507 558592

Note to editors

The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 46% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.

BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since June 2004. The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.

Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £26 billion has now been raised and more than 330,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.

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