Volunteering

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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.


BIRCH Refugee Family Befriending Project

Are you passionate about migrants’ rights? Are you happy to welcome a young refugee to your home in Birmingham and help to reduce isolation? BIRCH – Birmingham Community Hosting Network  – is a volunteer-led charity working to harness the enthusiasm of local people to offer friendship and hospitality to people seeking sanctuary in Birmingham and other boroughs.

The Family Befriending Project matches young refugees (aged 16-25) with volunteer families/individuals who offer to share a weekly or fortnightly meal with them on a regular basis. The young refugees who benefit from this project have all come to the UK alone without their families and the majority are care leavers. They benefit from being welcomed into a family environment and feel better supported and less isolated. The host family does not intend to replace a young person’s birth family but will go some way to meeting some of the emotional needs families usually fulfil, helping young people to feel that they are cared about.

How BIRCH supports you
Befriending a vulnerable young person can be a big commitment and BIRCH is on hand to support you every step of the way. They will match you based on a number of factors including family size, age and gender of children, location, preferences and hobbies. The Refugee and Migrant Support Practitioner will accompany the young person on their first visit and support the match on an ongoing basis.

What is BIRCH looking for?
BIRCH welcome families of all shapes and sizes from single people to large extended families. If you would like to find out more please get in touch with Helen Hibberd. Email helen@birchnetwork.org, call 07709645097 or visit www.birchnetwork.org

Practical Considerations
Volunteers must be able to commit to weekly or fortnightly meetings with young people and be willing to undergo a DBS check.


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.


React Martial Arts

Who are React Martial Arts?

React Martial Arts was set up in August 2014 as a kickboxing organisation designed to make kickboxing and martial arts more accessible to all.

For more information on the organisation visit their website at www.reactmartialarts.co.uk

1) Tell us what you do.

We run Kickboxing classes for ages 5+ at St Michael’s School, Rowley Regis on Tuesday evenings between 19:00-20:00. Classes are taught in a controlled and fun environment to encourage everyone to develop at their own pace, with regular grading’s to allow students to show what they have learnt.

We also take a small group of fighters to compete locally, nationally and internationally. And lastly we sometimes do work in schools such as special martial arts taster days.

2) What is your proudest achievement?

Our proudest achieve is having two England squad members who recently won a gold medal each at the ICO World Championships. In total taking 6 medals from 6 categories.

3) What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?

The most valuable lesson we have learnt about working with people in Sandwell is that people need to take things at their own pace and it’s important to listen to what they want and where they are on their individual journey.

4) What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?

Our plans for the future are to continue to make Kickboxing accessible to all and to educate our community that despite common misconceptions that martial arts promote violence and fighting, martial arts is about teaching control, discipline and can help to tackle mental health concern.

5) How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?

SCVO can help through reiterating the above point that Kickboxing is not just about fighting but about teaching respect, discipline, and control whenever possible and supporting is to share our accomplishments and success to a wider audience enabling us to demonstrate to others where kickboxing as a sport can take them.

If you’d like to find out more about these services and Tuesday evenings session at St Michael’s school please contact Arron Walker on 07539 383 299 or via email at reactmartialarts@outlook.com


Volunteers needed for SVI Annual Forum

Sandwell Visually Impaired are looking for sighted helpers/volunteers to assist SVI during their Annual Forum on Monday 19 November 2018. The event will take place at the Portway Lifestyle Centre, Newbury  Lane, Oldbury B69 1HE.  SVI would ideally need volunteers from 9 am until 3 pm but if you can only do part of the day, that can also be accommodated.

Duties will include:

• Offering sighted guide support to visually impaired people to move around the venue safely.

• Providing sighted assistance for visually impaired people to visit exhibit stands and workshops.

• To assist with the handing out of drinks and refreshments on arrival, mid-morning and serving of lunch.

• To offer assistance to people wishing to use the toilets [not to assist in the cubical] you won’t be expected to provide personal care.

• To help with guide dog care [task only to be allocated to volunteers who like dogs].

• To read written information to people if required.

• To assist visually impaired people to leave the venue safely – this could involve assistance to bus stops where required.

• To offer any other support as necessary to ensure that people enjoy their day and can take part in the proceedings on an equal basis.

SVI will be having a pre-event volunteer helper meeting at the Portway Lifestyle Centre on Tuesday, 13 November, from 12.30 pm to 2 pm. This is a chance to learn more about the help volunteers will be expected to give during the event, ask any questions about the role and receive a short sighted guide instruction session and tour of the building.

Travel costs will be met for the pre-event meeting and the event itself, as long as you have a receipt for your journey. Refreshments are provided during the event.

Please see attached programme for the day and last year’s Volunteer helper guidelines.

Please let Sandra Troth know if you are able to help this year. Tel: 0121 525 4810. Email: sandra_troth@sandwell.gov.uk


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


Dorothy Parkes Community Centre Scoops Postcode Local Trust Grant

Dorothy Parkes Community Centre have recently been awarded a grant of £19,985 to secure an overgrown and underutilised allotment plot in Smethwick. The Project seeks to transform this rundown plot into a vibrant outdoor community classroom, with the aims of enable people to develop employability, horticulture and life skills, improve participant confidence and encourage physical activity.

The project came about following an SCVO Funding Network Event held in partnership with the People’s Postcode Lottery, which detailed how potential applicants could apply to their current grant programmes, the size of grants available, eligibility requirements and a chance to have a 1-2-1 conversation with a representative from the People’s Postcode Lottery.

They have recently recruited a Project Coordinator, Karen Palmer who will oversee the project and will soon be looking for community volunteers to support the transformational and future stages of the project.

If you would like to get involved or find out more information on this exciting new opportunity for Smethwick then please contact the Dorothy Parkes Community Centre on 0121 558 2998.


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