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ThriveWorking together in Trafford

Volunteers Week – ‘Volunteering For All’ – 1st to 7th June 2018

Volunteers are invaluable in the support and value they bring to the VCSE sector in Trafford. They are essential in supporting in many communities, making a difference in places as diverse as friends of parks groups, sports clubs, libraries, schools and hospitals.

Hundreds of events will be taking place across the country to mark Volunteers’ Week. The annual campaign, which was established in 1984, recognises the contribution volunteers make to our communities every day.

VCSEs’ and Charities across the UK will hold events to thank their volunteers and celebrate the power of volunteering to bring communities together. Last year more than 900 events took place, from awards ceremonies to tea parties and barbecues.

For many charities the week will also be a chance to showcase the range of volunteering opportunities on offer. Volunteer fairs and other events will encourage people to try volunteering for the first time and help people find out how through volunteering they can make a difference to a cause they are passionate about.

That’s why here in Trafford we are putting on our very own Volunteers’ Week Roadshow across different locations in Trafford. Check out some of the different organisations getting involved.

We also want to showcase some of different ways people volunteer across Trafford – ‘Volunteering for All’. Check out the case studies below:

If you would like more information on any of the case studies below or have any volunteering opportunities please email caroline.lewis@thrivetrafford.org.uk

Young Volunteer Case Study - Gorse Hill Studios
Nathan Gonzalez – Gorse Hill Studios and Director for RISE


1) Where do you Volunteer, and how long have you been a Volunteer?

I volunteer at Gorse Hill Studios and I have been a volunteer for 3 years.

2) What do you do as a Volunteer?

At Gorse Hill Studios I do voluntary youth work, working with young people of all different abilities. I help with the organisation of the building to ensure that visitors have the best experience. I am an representative for gorse hill and help the voice of young people who enter the building ensuring that they are heard and feel valued. I also volunteer by helping with groups that work around different Medias of art.

3) What was your motivation for starting to Volunteer?

My motivation for volunteering is to see things get done so that the bigger picture can take place. There are so many times where we plan something and never get round to it, my aim as a volunteer is to help people achieve their goal to progress to do even better things.

4) How has your Volunteer role benefitted you personally?

Me being a volunteer has helped me start my own organisation and have the skills to be a leader and an understanding of what it is like to work with young people and all people of different skill ranges and ability. It has allowed me to develop and understanding of my own work ethic and drive to make a difference and get things done. Being a volunteer has helped me with my communication skills and have good relationships with individuals.

5) What difference do you think you have made through Volunteering? i.e. people, community, environment etc

The difference I think I have made by being a volunteer is amongst the experience at gorse hill for young people. Me being their shows them that they are valued and that they can get stuck into activities and not be afraid of expressing their own creativity.

6) In 3 words sum up what Volunteering means to you?

Compassion
Drive
Applying yourself

7) What advice would you give to someone who is considering Volunteering?

Take every opportunity you can and don’t stop until you have achieved the best! Keep going and when there is an obstacle don’t be afraid to ask for help.

For more information on how you can volunteer with Gorse Hill Studios please visit – http://www.gorsehillstudios.co.uk/what-we-do/

Active Citizen Volunteer Case Study - Chair from Friends of Gorse Hill Park
Paula Pearson – Chair of Friends of Gorse Hill Park

1) Where do you Volunteer, and how long have you been a Volunteer?

I am currently volunteering within Gorse Hill Park and have been volunteering with the group over the past 18 months. I also have just recently started up a Breakfast Club to encourage more local residents to socialise and have a chat together

2) What do you do as a Volunteer?

I currently Chair the Friends of group and also help to promote the use of the park to local people and families, and try to encourage people to respect and keep the park clean and tidy for other people to enjoy

3) What was your motivation for starting to Volunteer?

Unfortunately I had to give up work due to health problems, and therefore decided that I wanted to still keep active and get back into socialising with other people. I wanted to get to know people in Stretford so, initially started volunteering with Friends of Victoria Park.

4) How has your Volunteer role benefitted you personally?

Volunteering has helped to boost my confidence and also enabled me to get to know more people in the local area.

5) What difference do you think you have made through Volunteering? i.e. people, community, environment etc

I think the litter picking has worked well with people with mental health conditions, I have been able to keep people updated with what’s going on in the park through our Facebook page. And since the committee for the park has changed in the last 18 months residents have said they feel safer, and that more people are now wanting to use the park.The park is now staying cleaner, and there seems to be less anti-social behaviour.

6) In 3 words sum up what Volunteering means to you?

Sense of achievement
Confidence boosting
Happiness

7) What advice would you give to someone who is considering Volunteering?

Do something you enjoy, find out what’s going on in your local area, there’s always something someone can help volunteer with. I was chatting to an older lady in the park who had a lot of health conditions who said that she’d really like to be able to help out and use to be a keen gardener, but said she couldn’t do anything with her health problems. I suggested that she grow some seeds for the the park, and that way she was doing her bit to volunteer with the park.

For more information on how you can volunteer with Friends of Gorse Hill Park please visit – Friends of Gorse Hill Park

Retired Volunteer - Healthwatch Trafford
Peter Longmire – Administration Volunteer Healthwatch
1) Where do you Volunteer, and how long have you been a Volunteer?
I currently volunteer at Healthwatch Trafford, but previously I have been a volunteer for two charities, one in Spain and one in Altrincham, and also at Transport Museum in London.
I have been a volunteer for 13 years altogether in different posts

2) What do you do as a Volunteer?
I currently provide admin support to Healthwatch Trafford one morning a week.

3) What was your motivation for starting to Volunteer?
Originally, I wanted to help the charity that I began volunteering with, which needed help in the shop doing a variety of tasks.
My motivation for continuing to volunteer is that as a retired person now, I like to keep active in body and mind, I have time at my disposal, and I can draw upon skills and experience gained in life which hopefully benefits the organisation I work for, plus it keeps these skills alive. I also enjoy working in a team and the social interaction that results.

4) How has your Volunteer role benefited you personally?
I have never thought of how it benefits me personally. But I guess because I get pleasure from being involved and doing what I do, that in itself is good for me. I have met some very interesting people through volunteering.

5) What difference do you think you have made through Volunteering? i.e. people, community, environment etc
I would like to think that the skills and experience I have gained in life through my various jobs and my personality has enabled the various organisations that I have worked for as a volunteer to benefit. A former boss at one of the charities called me her mentor which was not only very nice, but she told me she could always rely on me for good advice and that if I said I would do it, I could be relied on to do it without any problems, which she said was so valuable to have someone like that helping.

6) In 3 words sum up what Volunteering means to you?
Rewarding,
fulfilling,
enjoyable

7) What advice would you give to someone who is considering Volunteering?
Try it! Sometimes it can be difficult to make the first move, and not all organisations who use volunteers focus as much as they should on volunteer welfare or training. So it can sometimes result in volunteers feeling overlooked and undervalued. This happened to me. So I just left and looked round for something else. My move to Healthwatch Trafford was a very good move – I am very happy there and I feel very valued. It’s a good way of meeting people, gaining new skills when young, or keeping those skills in working order when older. And the main thing is I feel I am giving back just a little to the community.

For more information on how you can volunteer with Healthwatch please visit – https://healthwatchtrafford.co.uk/get-involved/volunteer/

Volunteering facts
• In 2015, volunteering output contributed an estimated £22.6bn to the UK economy. This is equivalent to approximately 1.2% of GDP.
• In 2016/17, 19.8 million (37%) people in the UK volunteered formally at least once a year and 11.9 million (22%) of people did so at least once a month.
• There are 165,801 voluntary organisations in the UK, many of whom rely on volunteers.
• Lots of volunteering also takes place within the public and private sector. For example, there are an estimated 3 million people volunteering in health and care.
For more statistics visit https://data.ncvo.org.uk/a/almanac17/volunteering-overview/