Category Archives

Seeking Volunteer Chaplains for West Bromwich

Black Country Urban Industrial Mission is seeking to recruit volunteer Workplace Chaplains to visit with people in the Businesses, Shops and Factories of West Bromwich.

Who Are Workplace Chaplains?
Chaplains are men and women from a range of business, employment and cultural backgrounds who are good listeners.Chaplains wish to bring their faith and understanding to the world of work. Each Chaplain is a member of a church who can count on a reference from their church leader, vicar, minister or pastor.

Do you live in or close to the Black Country? Could you offer a few hours a week to be a workplace chaplain, and be part of an exciting area of the church’s mission?

One volunteer chaplain described being a Chaplain as the best experience in his Christian ministry.

A five week training course in basic Chaplaincy skills is planned for February. Dates, times and location will be decided in discussion with those who respond.

There’s no upper age limit, and workplaces can often accommodate different levels of agility. Chaplains may need to spend long periods on their feet.

Contact Bill Mash at bill.mash@bcuim.co.uk 01902 710407 for more information.

A Successful 2018 for Friends of Tividale Park

The Friends of Tividale Park are a residents’ community group (now in its fourth year) who work to improve Tividale Park in various ways, including fund-raising for new equipment, volunteering, and supporting events.

The Friends of Tividale Park Group support plans to improve the facilities in the park, organise and develop a range of community activities and events, to bring people of all ages together to have fun and enjoy the park.

During 2018, the group have successfully embarked on the following projects:

  • worked with Litter Watch to paint the entrances into the park to enhance the appearance of this local resource,
  • secured funding to purchase six new benches which will be installed on our behalf by Sandwell Council around the park,
  • secured a Co-op Community Fund grant to buy a commemorative World War One bench and
  • held ‘Black Country Gala Festival’ in July to mark the parks 90th birthday which featured five bands, three dance groups, Vikings demonstrations, 30 stalls and much much more.

Our long-term plan within the park is for a community centre and is nearly in fruition as Sandwell Council have cleared an area of land within the park and laid the foundations in preparation for the facility to be put into place in 2019. The Council has also promised 20 Cherry Blossom Trees for the park.

We are currently looking for people to help us to form some new community groups such as neighbourhood watch, walking and running groups who will use the new facility coming in 2019 within the park.

For more information or to become a new member of the Friends of Tividale Park, please email our secretary at secretary@friendsoftividalepark.org.uk or visit our website at www.friendsoftividalepark.org.uk

Your Library Needs You!

Library friends groups are looking for new members to join and help support their library by:

  • Helping shape future library services,
  • Acting as library ambassadors in the community,
  • Fund raising for local events and activities,
  • Supporting at library and community events and
  • much much more.

You’ll have the opportunity to learn new skills with like-minded individuals, support the development of services and community activities taking place within the library.

We would love to hear from anyone who is interested in making a positive difference within their community or would just like to find out more about what is involved.

Meetings are held every six weeks so why not get involved and help us to keep your library a real hive of community activity.

To find out more please speak to a member of library staff or call 0121 569 4911.

Murray Hall Volunteer Recruitment Event

Murray Hall Community Trust is a registered charity supporting people in Sandwell and the surrounding areas. To celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2019, Murray Hall will honour the support given by volunteers and hope to recruit more volunteers to enable them to continue to support the most vulnerable in the community.

Murray Hall will be holding a Volunteer Recruitment Event on Thursday, 22 November 2018, 12 noon to 2.30 pm, at The Bridge, St Marks Road, Tipton DY4 0SL.

Volunteering can be an enriching experience and can enable you to meet new people, try new things and gain valuable experience.

The volunteer recruitment team will be on hand on the day to tell you more about the various volunteering opportunities across Murray Hall’s services, and talk you through the application process.

If you are interested in volunteering but cannot make it on the day, please call 01902 826 513, when a member of the team will be happy to help you.

Volunteering Does Not Need to Stop for Over 75’s

Rates of volunteering fall sharply in the over-75s, yet evidence shows that older volunteers may benefit a lot from it. This blog presents the key findings from an evaluation of the Residents as Volunteers project, which aimed to support over-75s living in Abbeyfield care homes to volunteer. It will discuss what barriers to volunteering in later life exist and how they can be overcome. Find out more in the full evaluation report or the summary version.

Volunteering in later life has many benefits

In the UK, approximately 421,000 people live in care homes with the vast majority aged 65-years and over. Typically, older people living in care or residential homes have a number of health conditions and experience significant life changes. It is estimated that depression affects 40% of care home residents. This project was motivated by the growing evidence around the benefits of volunteering, especially for older people. It was believed that engagement in volunteering activities would have a positive impact on the wellbeing of residents living in care homes, which was later confirmed by findings from the evaluation. Residents who had taken part in volunteering activities reported multiple benefits. Residents felt that volunteering had the most positive impact on their emotional and social wellbeing, but it was also found beneficial for physical and mental wellbeing.

To read the full NCVO Article click here.

CCG Mystery Shopper Volunteer Recruitment

The Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)is currently launching a new initiative to recruit local people by volunteering to help check the quality of NHS healthcare services by becoming CCG Mystery Shoppers.

What is a CCG Mystery Shopper?

A mystery shopper is a person who carries out a type of research to ensure patients are receiving the best quality service.

This could be telephoning a GP practice, checking information on an NHS website or visiting an NHS building for example.

Will I get expenses?

The CCG will give mystery shoppers who submit their feedback to the CCG thank you High Street shopping vouchers.

Should you be asked to visit NHS premises, you will be able to claim public transport, car mileage and car parking expenses from the CCG.
How do I apply?

Either read the Role Description and apply on-line through the CCG website (www.sandwellandwestbham.nhs.uk/mysteryshopper) or telephone the Engagement Team and request a Mystery Shopper Application Pack.

Submission Deadline:

Should you be interested in becoming a CCG Mystery Shopper, the deadline for submitting your Application Form is Friday 9th November 2019.

Contact the Engagement Team for an Application Pack:

Telephone: 0121 612 1447            Email: swbccg.engagement@nhs.net

Report Reveals Effect of Age on Donor Behaviour

Younger donors are more than twice as likely to give to charity via mobile device than Baby Boomers and are significantly more likely to turn to social media for information about a charity – this is according to a new report looking at different generations and their online giving behaviours by donor management software firm, Blackbaud.

In the report, it was revealed that 92% of Millennials (born after 1980) and Gen Z (born after 1995) would be willing to give via a mobile device, compared to just 44% of Baby Boomers and 26% of Mature givers.

Information Sources

39% of Millennials and Gen Z find information about charities through social media, compared to only 9% of Baby Boomers.

Baby Boomers and Mature givers, however, are much more likely to find information about a charity directly through the organisation’s website, with as much as 79% of Matures saying they prefer the organisation’s website as a source of information.

They’re also more likely to search for a charity organically – 55% of Baby Boomers prefer to find sources of charity information through Google search, and far more Boomers pay attention to the news (55% compared to just 36% of Millennials).

Report recommendations

Understanding who your supporter groups are and which channels they prefer to engage on is key to building relationships with them and building a strong fundraising strategy.

The report argues it’s vital to know where to focus your efforts since the number of different channels available to fundraisers can cause ‘choice anxiety’ and put off donors. It also reveals the types of charities that different generations prefer to give to, highlighting the similarities and differences of supporters of different age groups.

Source: Charity Digital News

Could YOU Inspire Young People…as a ‘Pitch Adviser’ for NCS?

The National Citizen Service (NCS) is a 3 week programme open to all 15-17 year olds that helps young people to build skills, take on challenges, make friends and work with charities and organisations in their local community.

We are looking for Pitch Advisers to help our young people to create inspirational and lasting social action projects. As a Pitch Adviser, you will sit on a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style panel and will see between 5-7 teams who will pitch their plans for a social action project they will be carrying out the following week. Your role will be to give advice and expertise to improve their project and make it even more impactful.

The Autumn 2018 programme is currently being planned, with available dates at a number of locations across the Black Country.

If you would like to know more, please contact:

Nicole Meek – Assistant Programme Manager – nicole.meek@the-challenge.org

New Ways to Volunteer

Some things never change. Volunteering, as always, is simply giving time for no monetary reward. Not everyone can do everything, as they say, but everyone can do something.

Over time, there has been a shift in the way people choose to volunteer. Many people used to volunteer to fill their time in a general way, and many still do. But, there’s a definite trend towards volunteers who are passionate about a particular cause they want to serve.

Many people are also volunteering for specific experiences or rewards rather than taking a general approach to volunteering. Volunteers are also tending to use their time differently; some people are more likely to give their time to volunteering in bite sized chunks rather than a longer-term commitment.

As a result, many organisations are now considering promoting activities that reflect these new ways of volunteering. Volunteering does not mean, for example, joining an organisation or society. Volunteering can be as simple as helping out a friend or neighbour with prescriptions, mowing a lawn, doing the shopping or simply dropping in for a chat.

However you choose to volunteer, the effects are almost always positive. If just one person does a good thing, others are inspired to follow. It makes a positive difference to the community in which you live.

To find out more about what you can do – and you might surprise yourself – contact the Volunteer Centre Sandwell. After 40 years they are still making a difference.

Volunteering in the Digital Age
Technology has transformed all our lives. Digital technology and communications such as the internet, have had have a massive effect. So, it should be no surprise that it has had an impact on volunteering too.

Volunteer Centre Sandwell see more and more traffic on its social media sites – such as Twitter, but the technology can also help volunteers to work differently. Many people work from home, volunteering their time to be available on the phone, to befriend people or to provide advice and guidance. If you have new volunteering opportunities, contact the Centre o 0121 544 8326 or visit the website www.volunteercentresandwell.org.

Consider your goals and interests before volunteering

You will have a richer and more enjoyable volunteering experience if you first take some time to identify your goals and interests. Think about why you want to volunteer. What would you enjoy doing? The opportunities that match both your goals and your interests are most likely to be fun and fulfilling.

Tips for getting started

First, ask yourself if there is something specific you want to do.
For example, do I want…
…to make it better around where I live
…to meet people who are different from me
…to try something new
…to do something with my spare time
…to see a different way of life and new places
…to have a go at the type of work I might want to do as a full-time job
…to do more with my interests and hobbies
…to do something I’m good at

The best way to volunteer is to match your personality and interests. Having answers to these questions will help you narrow down your search.

Getting the most out of volunteering

You’re donating your valuable time, so it’s important that you enjoy and benefit from your volunteering. To make sure that your volunteer position is a good fit:

Ask questions. You want to make sure that the experience is right for your skills, your goals, and the time you want to spend. Sample questions to your volunteer coordinator might address your time commitment, if there’s any training involved, who you will be working with, and what to do if you have questions during your experience.

Make sure you know what’s expected. You should be comfortable with the organisation and understand the time commitment. Consider starting small so that you don’t over commit yourself at first. Give yourself some flexibility to change your focus if needed.

Don’t be afraid to make a change. Don’t force yourself into a bad fit or feel compelled to stick with a volunteer role you dislike. Talk to the organisation about changing your focus or look for a different organisation that’s a better fit.

Enjoy yourself. The best volunteer experiences benefit both the volunteer and the organisation. If you’re not enjoying yourself, ask yourself why. Is it the tasks you’re performing? The people you’re working with? Or are you uncomfortable simply because the situation is new and familiar?

Pinpointing what’s bothering you can help you decide how to proceed. Volunteer Centre Sandwell has over forty years’ experience of matching individuals into volunteering opportunities. From admin, befriending, creative arts, gardening, hospitality, music, photography, and so much more besides.

Why not contact the Centre on 0121 544 8326 for a one-to-one appointment, or you can visit the website. Volunteer Centre Sandwell is located on the corner of Freeth Street in Oldbury (opposite Sandwell Council House). The staff look forward to seeing you and discussing options.

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