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Volunteering Newsletter August 2022

Welcome to the latest edition of the Volunteering Newsletter to keep you up to date with volunteering news and opportunities across Norfolk. In this issue:

  • Get inVOLved Norfolk launch!
  • Volunteer Passport - Autumn Dates
  • Volunteering for Equal Lives
  • Marion given Queen's Honour for 22 years of volunteering
  • Association Visitor for MNDA

The new website has launched and there are now over 300 volunteer opportunities! 

We are very excited to announce that there are hundreds of opportunities on Get InVOLved Norfolk – the go to website to find out about Volunteering in your Community.
  
You can search and apply for volunteering roles by narrowing down the search to your local area or interest. Once you find a suitable role you can then message the organisation directly on there.
 
You could be meeting and greeting people at iconic stately homes, conducting befriending calls, helping out with local conservation work, supporting children's groups within Norfolk's libraries or use your translation skills to benefit the local community.
 
Volunteering is great way to improve your own wellbeing, providing a sense of purpose, whilst helping some incredible voluntary sector organisations in Norfolk. Roles are varied and if you would like to discuss how we can support you to find the right role do just contact volunteercentre@voluntarynorfolk.org.uk.

Search for volunteering opportunities

Volunteer Passport Autumn Dates

The next programme will start on Wednesday September 21st and already has only 6 places left!

The course runs every week for 6 weeks from 6pm – 8.30pm on Teams. 

Some of the reasons people have signed up to be part of the Norfolk Volunteer Passport:

  • Looking to gain more confidence before volunteering.
  • Already volunteering but would like some additional free training.
  • Would like to try volunteering in several different roles before committing to anything.
Some of our previous participants said:

‘It helped me to identify where I want to focus my skills and experience within a volunteering role, and where I feel I could be of most use to my local community. I have also gained the confidence to understand that I have a lot to offer in a volunteering role.’

‘Thank you for letting me participate in this course. It taught me structure, to value myself as an individual, and what I could bring to an organisation. A very positive and beneficial course and a great tutor!!’

The scheme includes 6 core training sessions, help gaining references, and an ID badge to show you are part of the scheme.

You can find out more about the Volunteer Passport and the content of the training here.

If you are interested in taking part in the Volunteer Passport Programme, please contact us at volunteercentre@voluntarynorfolk.org.uk and we will be in touch to discuss it with you further.

Find out more

Eddi explains the benefits of Volunteering for Equal Lives

Can you tell me what you do as a volunteer?
I volunteer one day a week at Shopmobility in Chantry Place. I look after the shop and the mobility equipment and make sure it’s well presented. I greet customers and help them with our mobility equipment which they want to hire. I show them how to use it and make sure they feel comfortable and safe. I also enter their details in a database, charge up the mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs, clean them and park them after use.
 
What do you most enjoy about being a volunteer?
I enjoy volunteering because it gives me something to do, it’s good fun and worthwhile.  With Equal Lives I like greeting customers and helping them. I enjoy volunteering here because I like meeting and helping people and the staff here are nice and friendly. Driving the mobility scooters is one of my favourite things about the job!
 
What skills have you learnt from volunteering?
How to use databases and software like Charity Log, Microsoft Office, and Teams. In this role I’ve learned how to drive a mobility scooter and use a wheelchair.

When I was volunteering in a charity shop I learnt social skills as I had to talk with customers a lot and I also learned how to use a till.

I’ve done a lot of volunteering which has helped me learn how to adapt to different environments and new people. Volunteering is like a paid job, but more relaxed, so I’ve learnt things I think I’d learn in a paid job, like time management skills, because of needing to wake up, get a bus and get to Shopmobility on time. Also, I need to be clean and tidy in my volunteer job and make sure everything is neat, so it’s helped with organisation skills.
 
Would you like to do more volunteering in the future?  And if so, what kind of things would you like to do?
Yes, I would as I really like it and it gives me something nice to do. I’d like to have a go at childminding, looking after small children, because they’re so sweet and adorable.  Maybe I could go and read a story to young children in a nursery or something.

I would try anything so long as I could do it easily enough and understand it. I like trying different volunteering as it’s interesting to me.

I would like to do some volunteering helping elderly people out at their homes if they need any help, maybe I could help pick up their shopping, or do some befriending work of some kind. I enjoy helping people.

Find out more

Marion given Queen's Honour for 22 years of Volunteering
 

Marion has been selflessly putting in the hours at Age UK Norfolk and has been given a Platinum Champion Award to recognise the impact she has had.

The 80-year-old has served with its Money Matters team for 22 years – a job she says she “enjoys enormously.”  

“Most certainly it is very rewarding, and you meet some lovely people who really appreciate your help,” she added. “I get a great buzz in being able to solve their problems for them.”  

Marion took redundancy in her 50s and after spotting an advertisement asking for Age UK Norfolk volunteers. She has never looked back. 

Mrs Billham is now the recipient of a Platinum Champion Award, recognising the efforts of unsung heroes. She was one of 490 champions nominated and she received her award from the Duchess of Cornwall at a jubilee lunch. 

She said: “It is a great honour for me to accept this award, which I do, not just for myself but on behalf of all Age UK Norfolk volunteers who work so hard for the benefit of older people. 

"Age UK Norfolk does a tremendous amount of good work in many different ways and Money Matters is just a part of that. “At present, we have a total of 248 volunteers so this award is for all of them who willingly give up their free time to help others.” 

Head of operations, Vicky Aitken, added: “We’re delighted that Marion has received this recognition for her long-standing voluntary service to Age UK Norfolk and the older people that she supports.   

“It’s because of people like Marion kindly donating their time and skills that we are able to help as many older people in Norfolk that we do.  

“The whole team at Age Norfolk congratulates Marion on this wonderful accomplishment and we would like to extend our thanks to all of our volunteers, who are making our work possible.” 

Find out more

Do you have a volunteer story?

If you would like to share your experiences of volunteering in Volunteering News, please do get in touch with us: volunteercentre@voluntarynorfolk.org.uk

Association Visitor

As an Association Visitor (AV), you will keep in regular contact with people with MND, their families and carers. This can be done either by phone, email or face-to-face visits, depending on what suits you and the family. By offering confidential emotional support, accurate information and help to access the right services and equipment, you can enable people affected by MND to live their life more easily and make informed choices. Thorough and on-going training and support is provided for you by the MND Association.

As an AV you can further develop existing skills in your personal and professional life, such as listening, empathy, tact, sensitivity and dealing with a wide range of people from all backgrounds. You will benefit from working as part of a team, while at the same time being able to manage your own schedule. You can work the role around your existing commitments, whether that's family, studies, work or all three. Many Association Visitors love the role they do because it is so flexible and can be easily adapted to their individual lifestyle

Find out more

Roles on the Voluntary Norfolk Volunteering Portal

We've just given a small selection of the roles available in Norfolk. If you would like to search all of the current voluntary roles, please visit our portal Get InVOLved Norfolk.

 
Contact us
 
If you would like any help with searching for the right voluntary role for you, please contact us at volunteercentre@voluntarynorfolk.org.uk

For regular updates about volunteering and volunteering opportunities,
follow us on Facebook.
 
Volunteering News is written by members of the Voluntary Norfolk Volunteering Team and is edited by Voluntary Norfolk volunteer, Melissa Joy.
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Empowering Communities is a partnership project between Voluntary Norfolk, Community Action Norfolk & Norfolk Community Foundation.

Our mailing address is:
Voluntary Norfolk · St Clements House · 2-16 Colegate · Norwich, NR3 1BQ · United Kingdom
volunteercentre@voluntarynorfolk.org.uk

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