Volunteers Week 1-10 June 2016

Volunteers Week logoAccording to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), over 21 million people volunteer in the UK at least once a year. This adds around £23.9bn to the British economy and behind these large numbers is a huge contribution. Volunteers are an invaluable resource for charities – by offering their time, energy and talents they can help organisations to fulfil their mission.

To celebrate volunteers, NCVO is running a National Volunteering Week from 1-12 June. ‘But that’s longer than a week!’ some of you might say. NCVO have decided to make it longer this year to allow more people and charities than ever to take part and celebrate.

Throughout the week, we will be talking about how different people volunteer with Certitude, what it means to them and how you might be able to get involved too! To kick us off, Elena Sabatini, Development Bid Writer, talks about an exciting project that will be running throughout the week.

“We have been working in partnership with University College London (UCL), who run the Global Citizenship Programme every year. The aim of this programme is to give students a first-hand experience of working life in voluntary organisations like Certitude. The volunteers work on a specific project which helps the organisation towards achieving its goals as well as enabling them to experience what it is like to be involved with Certitude. At the end of their placement they will produce a presentation or report. Having to create a tangible piece of work like a presentation or report gives the students a goal to achieve and something to take away from the project and feel proud of.

Certitude has been working with UCL since January and is excited to welcome six students from1-10 June 2016. They will be joining Certitude as volunteers by helping us to collect stories about our impact in Hounslow. We have chosen to start in Hounslow as around 15% of people we support at Certitude who have learning disabilities live there! We will be asking the volunteers to collect as many stories as they can, and to create a final presentation or report (the choice is up to them!) which sums up our impact in Hounslow over the past decade.

As many of you will already be aware, stories play a crucial role in supporting the work of organisations like Certitude. By highlighting our impact they can help engage the surrounding community and raise money. They are also valuable internally to share our learning (through both successes and challenges) and to celebrate our positive work. By collecting so many stories about our impact in Hounslow, the volunteers’ work will be invaluable in aiding Certitude’s development and helping us raise funds in the borough.

The volunteers will also benefit from a full-day induction. Marianne Selby-Boothroyd, Director of Development, and John Keaveny, Trainer with the Treat Me Right! Project, have kindly offered their time and expertise to introduce them to Certitude’s history, mission and values. The volunteers will also learn about the challenges the social care sector faces currently, and what role stories can play in tackling these challenges.

We will be updating you on their experiences at the end of the week, but for now, please join me in welcoming our six new volunteers!”