This week’s article will be looking into the world of microvolunteering. The 15th of April was Microvolunteering day, although, you can participate in microvolunteering throughout the year. Microvolunteering day is a unique opportunity for different microvolunteering platforms, volunteer involved organisations and individuals to join together in a synchronised effort to demonstrate the empowering potential of the microvolunteering concept. It aims to engage individuals in microvolunteering tasks and inspire them and organisations on embracing the idea. To celebrate this event, which is now in its third successful year, the volunteer centre took part in a number of initiatives.
One of the ways in which we got involved is through launching a competition to see who could donate the most grains of rice via the FreeRice game. FreeRice is a word game where for each correct answer, 10 grains of rice are donated through the World Food Programme to help end hunger. All money raised by the site goes to the UN World Food Programme to help feed the hungry. They have already raised enough rice to feed millions, but with the help of the Volunteer Centre Dacorum and you, they could achieve so much more.
There are many other ways in which you can get involved in microvolunteering, for example, our knitters have made a huge contribution to microvolunteering by knitting many different items which will be donated to charity. Our Chair of Trustees, Derek Peverill, donated one household item each day throughout the whole of March to different charities; and it really is that easy!
You can even set up your own microvolunteering event; all you need is an enticing idea. Once you have an idea or action, all you need to do is promote it to volunteers; who could even be your friends and family. Promotion and marketing is vital in microvolunteering as this is how you will create your buzz and get people motivated to partake. Social media is a key tool and for even more tips and ideas, why not visit https://knowhownonprofit.org/how-to/how-to-set-up-a-microvolunteering-project.
You still have time to do your bit and make a difference, so what are you waiting for? Go forth and microvolunteer!
As a result of this event, Volunteer Centre Dacorum is featured in the Impact and Reach Report for Microvolunteering Day (page 9). http://www.microvolunteeringday.com/…/mv-day-report-2016.pdf
When I was in full time employment I had an accident at work which resulted in a back injury. This meant I could no longer to do my job and needed to change my career direction.
So, as I was unemployed the job centre put me on a work placement and I did an IT course known as the European Computer Driving License which I passed. I was keen to put this into practice and decided to give office work a try. I needed to get experience and was told that volunteering would help,
I went to the volunteer centre and they were very friendly and helpful. I looked at different options and I ended up volunteering at the centre.
My role started as covering reception and doing admin tasks. In the past 2 years my skills have developed and I have started to take responsibility for new areas of work. I now liaise with our member organizations regarding the opportunities that are coming to the end of us advertising for potential volunteers. This ensures that our records are accurate and up to date. I also ensure that our volunteers have the correct information on their files and keep our windows fresh and interesting with up to date information and new posters. Also, I did the mail out for the AGM which is another example how volunteering has taught me new skills in admin. I now have regular sessions to advise potential volunteers on the best opportunity that would suit them and find that my own experience of volunteering really helps with this.
Since being at the volunteer centre I have become more confident and positive and have a greater understanding how to deliver great customer service. We have a fantastic team of volunteers and staff and I really enjoying working there.
My name is Derek and I have been at the Volunteer Centre for just under 18 months.
I called at the Roundhouse looking for a volunteering role and as I left I asked the question “Do you need volunteers?” I received a call soon after inviting me back for a further interview.
When I started volunteering my role was mostly admin but over the months, I have taken on more responsibility and have been able to develop my particular interests.
I now present the weekly VISIT sessions which are an introduction to the topic for people who are new to volunteering. This is an opportunity for potential volunteers to gain an understanding of the scope of volunteering in a relaxed and informal setting.
I am also an ADVISOR and in one to one sessions with potential volunteers I help them to identify volunteering opportunities that match their skills and interests and then refer then on to the organisation s of their choice.
As one of a group of volunteer ambassadors, I am about to arrange visits to a number of the key organisations that we support. This is in order to better understand their needs so that we can give the best possible service to them and to those wishing to volunteer.
In my 18 months I have gained an insight into people`s reasons for volunteering and the barriers they may face.
I have gained a qualification at the age of 68 – PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector).
I have made new friends and while they have to listen to me talking about running, folk music and poetry, my other friends have to listen to me constantly talking about volunteering.
During my working career, I was never keen on Monday mornings but I now really look forward to my Monday mornings at the Volunteer Centre.
Long-serving volunteer calls on others to ‘give it a go’!
Barbara Reynolds-Sale is the longest serving volunteer with the Centre. She has clocked up around 5,000 hours over 17 years with the charity.
Barbara has loved volunteering and admits it has kept her going over the years and given her a purpose.
“Volunteering has kept me going over the years and given me a purpose. I enjoy what I do and I really like meeting people.” She said. “If I had a message for anyone thinking about volunteering it would be to give it a go. Not everyone has to stay for 17years!”
“I didn’t even know the Volunteer Centre existed until someone suggested that volunteering could help my recovery after a serious illness” explained Barbara: “It’s all down to the then Manager, Heather Allen who showed faith in me. That really boosted my spirits and it wasn’t long before I was helping out and feeling useful again”
Barbara is a key member of the team and is the friendly face that greets visitors to the centre on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. She is also a real wordsmith and never fails to make the voluntary role descriptions she writes interesting and appealing. Barbara also helps out at Shopmobility in the Marlowes Centre Car Park.
Richard Pitts, Chief Executive said “Not only does Barbara bring her excellent skills to her volunteering but her enthusiasm and sense of fun are infectious and really help to bring the team together.”
Alan started volunteering 5 years ago and has become a valued member of the team at 3 different local organisations. His colleagues say that they couldn’t manage without him. He is very reliable and gets on well with colleagues and clients alike. Alan gets a lot out of it too and has recently passed a first aid exam. “It’s better than staying indoors or going on college courses. I’m learning new things and helping people” Alan has a learning disability and prior to volunteering had very little confidence and found it hard to mix socially. The Volunteer Centre sees a real difference in Alan from the shy young man who came to find out about volunteering “Alan does a fantastic job for his organisations and it really does seem to have transformed his life”
Having lost her confidence, Diane found that she felt unable to interact with the ‘outside world’ but she found the courage to take the first step and make an appointment at the Volunteer Centre. “The atmosphere was warm and safe and before long I found I was sharing the skills I hoped I could offer.” Diane now helps out at 2 local charities. “These two (volunteering) roles have rebuilt my self esteem. I am no longer ‘unemployed’ or ‘unwell’ I am a trained volunteer; a valued member of society. I could not have taken this major step without the reassurance and support of Volunteer Centre Dacorum.”