My first Volunteer’s Week as the Volunteer Centre Manager of One Walsall, and it has whizzed by.
We started the week in a flurry of nervous excitement as I had the privilege of launching our very own volunteers’ awards. We have 5 categories open for nomination and already nominations have been made. Receiving the nominations is genuinely heart warming as we know at One Walsall there are hundreds of volunteers across the borough deserving of a nomination.
On Monday we held a workshop with Professor Gatrad about the Queen’s Awards for Volunteering Services, with the bonus of being able to share the news that Mindful Gifts had become this year’s worthy winners! Attendees left the workshop armed with practical advice and tips not only from Professor Gatrad, but also Sue Evans from Manor Farm, a former winner of a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services.
Tuesday was all about Employee Supported Volunteering (also known as Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR). At One Walsall, we have successfully matched several businesses with CSR opportunities, ranging from delivering training workshops on how to get the best from social media, to one-off teams volunteering to clear community garden spaces and painting rooms. Brokering these opportunities to engage Walsall businesses with Walsall charities, CIC’s and community groups paves the way to building stronger relationships between the private and voluntary sectors.
Wednesday focused on Young People’s Volunteering. At the Volunteer Centre we are encouraged by the amount of young people who come in because they want to volunteer. We would love to offer more opportunities from organisations who are willing to take on young people as volunteers. We can support your organisation with advice and information as to how to best support young volunteers and maximise their skills.
Thursday looked at the impact that volunteering has on the person themselves. Volunteering is sometimes thought of as the service or experience given to the organisation volunteered for, but volunteering has many benefits to the volunteer themselves. As a previous volunteer co-ordinator, I have recruited volunteers for roles and witnessed their growth. It has been an honour to see their confidence develop and move on to opportunities they once thought beyond their own personal beliefs. Volunteering is just as much about personal growth as it is time and skills donation to a charitable organisation. If you would like to know more about volunteering and personal growth you can read my previous blog about volunteering and the 5 ways of wellbeing here.
And so, Friday 7th June has arrived, the end of volunteer’s week. For my first volunteer’s week, I have been initiated into the fun whirlwind that is volunteer’s week, and what a ride it has been! I have had the nervous excitement of launching Walsall’s Volunteer Award, and the privilege of working alongside Deputy Lord Lieutenant Professor Gatrad and a previous winner of the Queens Award for Volunteering Services.
All in all, a great week. Same time next year?
Georgina Homer – Volunteer Centre Manager, One Walsall