Volunteering

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Invitation to the Launch of The Legacy of Industrial Textiles Enterprise (LITE)

Community Education Academy of Leadership (CEAL) is pleased launch The Legacy of Industrial Textiles Enterprise (LITE) project.  The LITE project is funded by Heritage Lottery Funds, its purpose is to document, collate and publicise the heritage of the textile sector from 1960s to the end of the last century. Our demographic areas are Birmingham, Sandwell and Wolverhampton. We are looking at almost 50 years of invaluable history in the social, economic and cultural contexts.

This ground breaking project involves, inter-generational Interviews from South Asian, African and Caribbean ethnic communities, former Textile employers and employees Interviews, publication production, digitisation of artefacts, Heritage textile skills training and development and touring exhibition in Birmingham, Sandwell and Wolverhampton.

The launch is open to all interested members of the public and is taking place on:
Date: 6 September 2017
Time: 11-1pm
Venue: Hawthorns House, Halfords Lane, West Bromwich, West Midlands B66 1BB.

The Launch Programme:
11.00- Registration/Refreshments
11.20- Welcome/Introductions- Dr. Christopher A Johnson (Chair of CEAL)
11.30- Why the LITE Project? (Harminder Kaur Bhogal)
11.40- Former Employees Live Interviews
12.00- Former Employers perspectives
12.10- Live Musical Performance
12.20 Special Guest Speaker- Professor Monder Ram OBE (Birmingham University)
12.30: Sue Beardsmore Chair of HLF (West Midlands)
12.35 Closing remarks
Lunch and Networking

We look forward to hearing from you.

For further information contact:
Harminder Kaur Bhogal (Project Manager)
Email: harminder@ceal.org.uk
Tel: 07891479255

Rupinderjit Kaur (Field Officer)
Email: rupinder.ceal@outlook.com
Tel: 07378766776


Spotlight on Health for Living

1. Tell us what you do
The Confidence & Wellbeing Team runs a range of free psycho-educational programmes across the 6 towns of Sandwell. These programmes are designed to teach easy self help techniques to manage common life issues such as; stress, anxiety, low mood, sleep issues and how to cope with change. The team consists of 4 workers who deliver the group programmes in a friendly and approachable manner.

2. What is your proudest achievement?
The Confidence & Wellbeing Team has been active in Sandwell for almost 10 years and during that time we have helped hundreds of local residents to better manage their mental health, build emotional resilience and lead more positive and fulfilling lives.

3. What is your experience of support received from SCVO?
We are looking forward to working with SCVO to promote our services and reach out to even more people in Sandwell.

4. What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
Everyone has challenges in life and through coming together at our groups, sharing stories and learning new strategies to cope, we all have the ability to fulfil our potential. People are innately resourceful and sometimes all it takes is a helping hand during a challenging time to get back on track.

5. What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Our plans for the future are to continue running our group courses throughout Sandwell and attract even more people to take part! We also encourage people once they have completed one of our courses to become co-facilitators and run future groups with us. This is a fantastic way to keep building self confidence, maintain all the strategies they have learnt and share their experience to help others. Our challenge is to keep a visible profile within the borough so people know we are here!

6. How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
By supporting us with continued promotion through the website and by word of mouth!

For further information please call our office on 0121 558 8815 or to refer yourself call the HUB on 03030339903


Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service

The Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Services is a prestigious UK National Honour, with an equivalent status to the MBE. It recognises the exceptional contributions made to local communities by groups voluntarily devoting their time for the benefit of others.

Volunteering groups in the West Midlands make a huge contribution to people’s lives, often without praise for the incredible work they do. A prestigious National Honour such as The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service can prove invaluable in so many ways to their on-going success.

Nominators will be required to sign up to complete and submit a nomination form. It is recommended the guidance notes are read before completing the online nomination form, as there is no facility to save partially completed forms.

A number of Deputy Lieutenants are available to provide guidance on submitting a nomination for a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Nominators wishing to take up this offer should contact the West Midlands Lieutenancy office on 0121 222 5040.

Information on how to nominate can be found here or you can go directly to the online nomination form.

Nominations can be made at any time during the year, but for those wishing to be considered for the 2018 award, on-line nominations must be received by the national awards office by Friday, 15 September 2017.

 


What Makes Some People More Likely to Volunteer Than Others?

While the benefits of volunteering are well known – making a difference, giving back to the community, and developing new skills, for example – there is less clarity about what psychological aspects make a volunteer and how charities can use this knowledge to attract more people to their cause.

These insights could prove invaluable. In the last 15 years, the overall number of volunteers has stayed largely the same, with the exception of spikes in 2012 (during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games), and in 2005, which experts suspect is linked to protests against the Iraq war.

Starting Young
Emily Dyson is the evidence and strategy manager for the #iwill campaign, which aims to drive youth participation in volunteering in the UK. The charity publishes an annual report, monitoring social action among 10-20 year olds and providing recommendations to improve engagement with this group.

“We have an ambitious goal to increase the number of young people taking part in social action by 1.5million by 2020,” Dyson says.

The latest findings showed that 70% of the 2021 young people surveyed were likely to participate in social action in the future, but 41% said that they weren’t sure how to get involved – a clear opportunity for organisations to improve communications with this group.

The analysts also classified the respondents into three groups based on their current, previous and intended participation in social action – committed, potential and reluctant – and identified a recommendation for each. The goal for the committed group is to encourage them to do more by celebrating the impact they have; the reluctant group could be engaged by promoting volunteering opportunities to their parents and teachers; and the reluctant group may participate if introduced to social action while they’re still young. The survey found that those in the committed group had their first volunteering experience before they turned 11.

To read the full Guardian Voluntary Sector Network article click here.


Volunteering is good for people – how can we encourage those who would benefit the most?

Recent years have seen a huge push by the government and voluntary sector to encourage youth volunteering. Rates of volunteering among 16-25 year olds rose by 50% between 2010 and 2015. Millions of young people have been mobilised. It’s a great success story.

But at the same time, and without any of the same kind of attention, people at the other end of the age spectrum have continued to do their bit. Those aged over 75 are just as likely to volunteer once a month as people aged 16-49.

That is vital, because volunteering has always been an important way of combating the loneliness epidemic currently besetting older people in this country. People over 50 tell the Centre for Ageing Better that social connections and a sense of purpose matter just as much to them as health or financial security. Consistent evidence has been found that older people who make a contribution to their community are happier as a result. They are less likely to be depressed and there’s even evidence that people who volunteer regularly are likely to live longer. By meeting new people and doing something that matters for others, they gain increased self-esteem and a sense of purpose.

Yet older volunteers tend already to be healthier and wealthier than non-volunteers, and they already have stronger relationships and social networks. People who have the most to gain from volunteering in later life – because they are lonelier, for instance, or don’t feel much sense of meaning and purpose in their lives – are actually less likely to take part.

From the Guardian Voluntary Sector Network.

Read the full article


Spotlight on FareShare

1. Tell us what you do.
FareShare is a food redistribution charity. We save good food destined for waste and send it to charities and community groups who transform it into nutritious meals for vulnerable people. We work across 21 regional centres in the UK where we sort and redistribute surplus food, which we give to local charities and voluntary organisations with the help of our own fantastic volunteers.

We also facilitate connections between local groups and nearby supermarket stores, in order for them to receive the surplus food from the store on a regular basis. In the West Midlands, we are currently focusing on Tesco Express stores in Black Country, with the aim of getting as many organisations as possible connected to their nearby store in order to make use of the surplus food on offer.

We work with a range of organisations, including lunch clubs, youth groups, breakfast clubs, foodbanks and various support groups to provide them with high quality surplus food on a regular basis. Across the West Midlands, there are 151 charities signed up to receive food from our Regional Centre in Nechells, and 420 collecting food from their nearby supermarkets. We never give food past its use by date and work with charities to ensure high standards of food hygiene are maintained.

2. What is your proudest achievement?
In March 2017 FareShare in the West Midlands celebrated its 10th birthday. In 10 years we have provided 10 million meals to voluntary organisations across the West Midlands. It is a fantastic achievement and demonstrates the real difference surplus food can make to the community.

3. What is your experience of support received from SCVO
We have attended breakfast meetings, which has been a fantastic way to meet other local organisations.

4. What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
To never underestimate the dedication of those in the voluntary sector. We continue to find amazing charities and organisations who are committed to doing great work in the area.

5. What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
We hope to continue to expand our work – reaching more community groups, feeding more people, and tapping into more unsold, surplus food and putting it to good use!

6. How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
Networking is so important to us. We are constantly looking for new organisations who could benefit from surplus food, and we always need more volunteers to help us with our work. Any opportunity to get the word out there and meet local groups is invaluable.

For more information on FareShare click here or call Hannah Feld on 0121 328 6640 or email hannah.feld@fareshare.org.uk if your interested in getting involved.

 


Microvolunteering: what is it and why should you do it?

Solving the mystery of the Loch Ness Monster would constitute a good deed, right? Well on that basis a webcam has been set up overlooking the Scottish loch for anyone to tune in and try to catch a glimpse of the elusive creature. If you see something that looks suspiciously serpentine, you simply click the “Snapshot” button to submit a picture for further analysis by researchers. It’s free, easy, and you can do it for as little or as long as you like with no login or signup required. What you’re doing is microvolunteering.

Microvolunteering takes a simple idea – that people are more likely to volunteer their time in short and convenient, bite-sized chunks – and turns it into a new approach to community action. It offers volunteers a series of easy tasks that can be done anytime, anywhere, on your own terms.

Microvolunteering could involve anything from signing a petition or retweeting a message to taking part in a flashmob or counting birds in your garden. The only requirements are that volunteers don’t need to go through an application or training process, the tasks take only minutes to complete, and it doesn’t require any ongoing commitment.

From The Guardian Voluntary Sector Network

Read the full article


7to97 – The Westminster School

1. Tell us what you do.
Currently only 7% of young people in the UK with a learning difficulty get paid employment after leaving education and training. We aim to equip our young people with employability skills and giving them the opportunity to work on all aspects product design and development, marketing and retailing.

The Westminster School is determined to address this issue through the curriculum and opportunities we offer our young people. In September 2016, we established our Social Enterprise initiative, 7to97, which complemented our work experience and vocational further education courses that we already had in place at school.

One of our key aims is to raise awareness in the local business community of the talents and skills of our students (e.g. creativity, work ethic, passion) and how they would be an invaluable asset to any business. All of our young people aspire to work when they leave education, with many saying they want to be able support their families in the future through paid employment.

2. What is your proudest achievement?
Our proudest achievement is that all students involved in the 7to97 project have had the opportunity to sell to the public through street markets. They have shown confidence when serving customers, and this was particularly evident at Digbeth Arts Market. Students gave up their Saturday to help set up and run the stall. We are extremely proud of all the young people who have taken part in the project.

3. What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Our plans moving forward are to diversify and expand our range of products and increase our links with local business. We have been very fortunate to be supported by a local steel company who regularly donate items to us and we are currently in discussions with a wedding company in Birmingham in order to support them with wedding favours. We have also been approached by Digbeth Dining Club and the Arts Market to run more stalls at future events.

4. How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
We would like SCVO to support us by signposting us to people who could give business advice and guidance to our students, and provide general support to our 7to97 initiative to help ensure that we give our students the best possible chance of getting the skills they need for paid employment.


Guide to Employing and Insuring Volunteers

Volunteers play an important part in most charities but without the right practice in place things can go wrong. This article looks at what a charity should consider when employing volunteers.

Is there a guide for best practice and legal requirements?
Volunteering England have a 10 step quality standard. They are an independent charity and membership organisation, committed to supporting, enabling and celebrating volunteering in all its diversity. The NCVO (The National Council for Voluntary Organisations) also publish useful guidance on their website.

What should a volunteer agreement include?
Some organisations use volunteer agreements to ensure separation from employment contracts. These are helpful to define what you would like a volunteer to do and set boundaries of expectations, but avoiding terms implying contractual obligations.

Managing a volunteer’s enthusiasm and directing their energy in the desired way does require skillful oversight, either by an employee or an experienced volunteer with a demonstrable track record.

People do sometimes get carried away or make mistakes. When recruiting volunteers it is advisable to set out what the parameters of the role will be. This needs to be recorded in writing, agreed with the volunteer and preferably signed and dated.

Having this documented record will help your insurer defend your position should an incident arise where a volunteer is injured and it involved activity outside the agreement.

Do we have to get volunteers DBS checked?
In general, providers and managers of regulated health, child and adult social care services have to ensure that all staff (including volunteers) who come into contact with children or vulnerable adults, have a satisfactory DBS check. More information on DBS checks can be found on the gov.uk website.

Do we have to insure volunteers?
Legally speaking you don’t have to. However, doing so can offer the volunteer the same protection as one of your employees should a claim be made involving the volunteer, as well as protect you if the volunteer brings a claim against you.

Despite your best efforts to keep the distinction clear between employees and volunteers there can be situations where the law regards a volunteer as an employee. This can be complicated and lead to disputes with insurers so it is always best to have volunteers included within the policy definition of employees.

Most liability policies extend to protect employees against claims made against them whilst working for you (in the same way as you would be if the claim was made against you). Including volunteers within the policy definition of employee’ ensures that they have the benefit of your policy cover should they have the misfortune to have a claim made against them whilst volunteering for you.

The same applies where you arrange other covers for the protection of your employees, for example assault or personal accident cover, including volunteers within the definition ensures that they get the benefit of cover under the policy.

Check your policy wording, particularly if you have more than one insurer covering your liabilities, and to ensure that such covers dovetail together (a specialist charity insurer will usually be able to provide such cover within one comprehensive policy).

Source: Third Sector


Spotlight Feature: Action on Hearing Loss

1 Tell us what you do
We are a National Charity providing opportunities for sharing best practice, skills, knowledge and advice to Deaf people or people with acquired hearing loss/tinnitus. We aim to be a key point of contact for commissioners and providers of health and care services including all aspects of audiology and general care and support.

Our core business outlines the prevalence and impact of hearing loss, deafness and tinnitus across the UK. We focus on society’s response and what needs to be done across three key areas – The growing need for better support and care, improved technology and treatments and equality of access to services for people confronting deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss.

2 What is your proudest achievement?
Our proudest achievement was obtaining a Level A from Sandwell Supporting People Commissioning Team, evidencing they fully understand our service provision and the support we provide. We against a recognised Quality Assessment Framework.

3 What is your experience of support received from SCVO
Action on Hearing loss has been an active member of SCVO’s forum meetings and we find these useful for liaising with other organisations, and knowing what other services are available which we use to signpost our members to other services.

4 What is the most valuable lesson you learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
Deaf people need communication support in place to reduce stress; anxieties; mental health and general health issues but more importantly to reduce any misunderstandings due to communication barriers.

More basic support provision needs to be in place to address the needs of our deaf community to increase their opportunities to participate within their community. When support is not in place for deaf people there is a risk of communication break-down; frustration; mental health issues; health concerns and isolation.

5 What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Our main focus is working towards meeting our overall strategy aims-Taking Action Strategy 2013-18 and our Care and Support Midlands operational plan. This is pivotal to maintaining our purpose of delivery support to those people using our services, engaging with key commissioners and new customers.

6 How can SCVO help you to support your organisation in the future?
Sharing information about our services with other organisations and exploring potential ways for joint working.

SCVO can also help us to promote our services together with signposting and attracting individuals who are interested in volunteering with our organisation.

Action on Hearing Loss Information Line: Telephone 0808 808 0123 | Textphone 0808 808 9000 | SMS 0780 0000 360
informationline@hearingloss.org.uk

For more information please see their website by clicking here.


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