We realise that there are lots of barriers to volunteering and that to many people Virtual Volunteering is a new concept, but in reality it is a different form of traditional volunteering, except with some extra benefits that are specific to its virtual nature. As part of this project, we created a number of tools to help organisaitons and individuals:
- that it is not geographically limited
- it can be completed virtually over the internet
- anyone with a smartphone or computer can take part
- you can use and develop current as well as new skills from home
- help organisations crowdsource for skills and volunteering services they need
- allow volunteers to give as little as five minutes during lunchtimes or any spare time
- improve the lives of others within your community from home
We aim to support, promote and develop virtual volunteering opportunities within Kent. If you are:
- a local charity
- a voluntary or community group or not for profit organisation,
- a Public Sector organisation or Private Sector organisation,
We can help you find volunteers and support you with their placements. Best of all traditional volunteering opportunities can be easily changed to virtual opportunities to guarantee more volunteers available for what you need.
We can offer you:
- Information and guidance relating to all aspects of virtual volunteering
- Help with finding volunteers
- Help with retaining volunteers
- Workshops and focus-groups to develop your virtual opportunities
- Information about training opportunities
- Support on any volunteering matter
- Help and support with employee volunteering
- The opportunity to have your volunteering vacancies advertised on the National Volunteering database (do-it.org) and the Big Society Webpage.
An Introduction to Volunteering
We are deighted to announce a series of sessions aimed at new or potential volunteers and existing volunteers
which will enable them to:
- Be prepared to enter into volunteering prior to taking the first step
- For more experienced volunteers, assess best practice in terms of volunteeirng
- Access to a relevant induction/introduction to volunteering
- Have the tools and resources to support you in your future activities
- Access ongoing support
Support and Further information
This project was initiated is in response to a perceived need to enable new or potential volunteers to understand volunteering prior to committing themselves and to enable seasoned volunteers to comment and engage in regard to their experiences in regard to best practice in volunteering.
We would like to thank Awards for All from the Big Lottery Fund for enabling us to run this project.
We shall soon be advertising our next session so please keep an eye on our events page.
We shall also be setting up links to various resources relating to this project in due course.
The Volunteer's Journey/The Volunteer's Obstacle Course
As part of our online resources relating to a wider understanding of volunteering, we have put together a question and answer video session with Gordon Matthews, a local volunteer who has, on behalf of the Canterbury and Herne Bay Volunteer Centre, been undertaking research into the volunteering focussing particulalry on retenttion issues.Follow this link to see the other videos in this series
Referral and Support of Volunteers
One of the core functions of any Volunteer Centre or Bureau is the referral of volunteers. On average we deal with approximately 1000 volunteers per year. Our aim is to match up the skills of volunteers with the volunteering opportunities offered by organisations.
Increasingly, we are receiving requests for volunteering oportunities from emails,or those who have accessed potential opportunities from the online database of volunteering opportunites.
The basic tenet of volunteering is that the volunteer engages in this activity of their own free will and, consequently, they get something in return from engaging in this process. Obvioulsy, the organisaiton they volunteer with gains from the volunteer's paticipation but the volunteer also benefits. The benefits gained by the volunteer are many and varied anc can include:
- Learning new skills
- Becoming more confident
- Puttting some volunteering experience on their CV
- Getting a reference
- Doing something they enjoy
- Finding new interests
- Staying active and healthy
- Getting out and meeting people
- Giving something back to the community
We have also received many enquiries of late, regarding employee volunteering. Employee volunteering involves organisations allowing their staff to take paid time off to volunteer, usually, a couple of days per year.
Jackie Harvey, who is based in our Herne Bay office, is our transport coordinator responsible for the management of our social car scheme in the Canterbury district. This scheme is aimed at the provision of a low-cost service utilising volunteer drivers (who use their own cars) to transport people to and from medical and social appointments. Due to a current shortage of drivers in the Canterbury part of the District, we sometimes have to use drivers from Herne Bay to take people to their appointments.
Our volunteer drivers are like gold dust to us both in the Canterbury and Herne Bay area.
Our transport charges are as follows:
- Client registration - £15.00 per year (renewable each January)
- Our volunteer drivers charge clients 45p per mile plus 5p per passenger per mile (to cover wear and tear on their vehicles) plus £3.00 per return trip to help with administration costs.
These charges are for clients booking individual trips. When we do contract work we provide quotations from the office and the administration charges are scaled according to journey length and times involved.
Usually, our volunteer drivers provide more than just a vehicle but also give the people they transport moral support and often wait with them at local hospitals and doctors to ensure that they are supported whilst undergoing a potentially stressful experience.
If possible,we ask our clients to give us a weeks notice so that we can contact our drivers in good time -this is due to the fact that we have many more enquiries for our service than we could possibly fulfil. If you are interested, please in this service please contact Herne Bay or telelphone 01227 743700
Please note that the trasnport office is now open to enquiries between 9.00 am - 1pm each weekday thanks to additional funding from the Kent County Council Transport Fund. This funding has also enabled us to set up an East Kent - wide number to connect you with the appropriate Volunteer Centre: 0300 365 0045.
The Healthy Homes & Healthy Minds Scheme
Our current gardening and home maintenance service ceased at the end of February 2016. This service had been operating in the District since 2008 thanks to a generous initial 5 year grant from the Big Lottery Fund. We were fortunate in 2013, to be awarded additional funding to continue this project for a further 3 years. Unfortunately, we have been unsuccessful in accessing any further funding from the Big Lottery Fund.
For those seeking gardening services, Brogdale CIC are now operating a samll-scale scheme covering the Canterbury Distirct.
On a positive note, we are able to continue to support our current beneficiaires in regard to our “Phone at Home” service.
This scheme could not function without the time and goodwill offered by all of our volunteers.
Currently, we operate a small befriending service matching individuals who are isolated or lonely with volunteers who provide social contact and support on a regular basis.
We aim to match the volunteers to a specific clients needs. Every volunteer has toundergo a DBS check.
Due to constraints on our resources, we only offer a limited service in this regard.
If you would like further information about our befreinding service pease contact us here.
What is the Volunteers' Forum?This was launched in March 2013 to give Volunteers a voice in regard to their knowledge and experience of volunteering.
We believe that volunteers have a crucial role to play in:
- Advising organisations
- Supporting other volunteers
- Commenting and critiquing the volunteer process.
Over the past 12 months, we have many interesting and informative sessions with local volunteers and have now produced a report detailing our activities (hard copies can be obtained from the office).
In addtion to the above, we have also produced:
The Volunteer Coordinators' Forum:
What is the Forum?
The aim of this project is to support the needs of all those who manage volunteers. We hold regular sessions on various aspects of volunteering as well providing increased support as and when needed.
Check out News and Events page for upcoming forums and events