We’ve looking to recruit people interested in becoming Volunteer Buddies, who support other volunteers by accompanying them to volunteering opportunities now lockdown measures are easing.
Northumberland CVA runs the Supported Volunteering project which helps our Bridge participants to develop the confidence and skills they need to find work, as well as gain transferable skills for the workplace.
Lisa Wackett who runs the scheme says lockdown has had a big impact on the project, with all supported volunteer activity having to stop. But, now as restrictions start to lift, she’s hoping people can get their training underway to become a Volunteer Buddy, ready to start when safe to do so, with opportunities already being lined up.
“We’ve got a huge pool of people wanting to start volunteering and just need that extra bit of support to get going. The support we’re asking people to give can be as simple as getting a lift from a buddy to the opportunity, so quite often we need people willing to drive them. Or, it may be a bigger commitment of staying and helping them with the activity. Confidence can be an issue, so having a buddy to be alongside them in the early days is always a huge boost.
“Either way, we’re really grateful for our buddies support, and can work with whatever available hours or level of commitment people are comfortable with. What I can promise is that it’s an incredibly worthwhile experience.”
Gordon, one of the project’s long-standing buddies confirms this:
“After retiring I wanted to give a little back to the community. Being a volunteer buddy has allowed me to do this while improving the employment prospects of the volunteers I support. For those I have supported on a weekly basis I have seen each and every one of them grow in confidence, until for some they are perfectly capable of working unsupported”.
The project is currently recruiting across South East Northumberland, North and West Northumberland. Buddies will receive comprehensive training, much of which can be completed by phone or online with the support of the team.
Julie’s helping hand into volunteering leads to national award
You can read Julie Mills’ story on how she won the National Apprenticeship of the Year award working at Northumberland Community Bank, which she began volunteering for thanks to Supported Volunteering.
Find out more
If you would like to find out more about becoming a Volunteer Buddy, please call Lisa Wackett on 07818511690 or email [email protected] or visit https://www.northumberlandcva.org.uk/for-individuals/help-getting-a-job/supported-volunteering