Tag Archives: volunteering

Over 60’s success!

4 Jan

You are never too old to achieve and become an inspiration to others. It is widely publicised that we are all living longer and with advances in medicine allowing us to live more healthily, 60 is fast becoming the new 30. It is estimated that by 2050 there will be 395 million over 80’s worldwide.  Older people are no longer content to sit in a rocking chair and knit. Retirement can be a time for new beginnings and a new lease of life. We can take inspiration from following people all achieved success after the age of 60:

Gfauja-singh-marathonladys Burrill, from Hawaii became the oldest woman complete a marathon, age 92. She completed her first marathon age 86. Fauja Singh ran his first marathon age 89 and completed the Toronto Waterfront marathon age 100.

Frank McCourt became a bestselling author age 66 with Angela’s Ashes. Bertha Wood had her first book, Fresh Air and Fun, published on her 100th birthday. She began writing it age 90. Peter Roget invented the Thesaurus age 73. He suffered from OCD and making lists calmed him.

Colonel Hartland Sanders established the Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurant chain age 65. On her 72nd birthday Poppy Bridger bought the company she used to work for and went back to work to grow the company, Anahiem test labs. Bill Foster founded Accessibility Services age 71 to support older people to stay in their own homes and remain independent.

Artists Mary Delany invented paper collage at age 72, Grandma Moses became famous in her 70’s and sculptorlouise-bourgeois Louise Bourgoise received mainstream recognition after the age of 60.

Over 60s are fast becoming the mainstay of the volunteering work force, supporting and inspiring others with their knowledge, skills, wisdom and sense of fun. If you, or anyone you know has a lot left to give and would like to make a difference, contact us at info@opsw.co.uk We would love to hear your views.

Volunteers’ Week

30 May

Next week is the 30th annual Volunteers’ Week, a chance to thank all of the volunteers who work so hard to help their local communities.

Volunteering is a great way to gain new skills, build your confidence, make friends, and “give something back”.  Read our blog post on volunteering here.  There are a huge range of opportunities to volunteer, and it can be very fulfilling, so why not give it a go.  Check out www.do-it.org.uk to search for opportunities near you, or visit your local community centre to see if you can help out.

Volunteering in Health is a Teignbridge charity who are always looking for volunteers, and their range of opportunities are available for as little as one hour a week – driving, befriending, admin, helping out at fundraising events.  Find out more here or call 01626 774484.

Work Experience – FAQs

13 Apr

What are the benefits of doing a work placement?

Work placements are a great way to develop your skills, build confidence and gain valuable experience. They’re also a brilliant opportunity to try out different kinds of work and figure out the sort of career you might like to pursue.

Even though you aren’t getting paid, always remember that volunteering could potentially lead to a job. If you work hard, show enthusiasm and get to know people, you’ll be in a strong position if a paid opportunity comes up.


Will it cost me money?

Not necessarily. Many businesses will pay for your expenses such as food, travel and equipment.


What skills do I need?

Some placements may require particular skills but most of the time you just need to be enthusiastic about the organisation and willing to work hard. Most businesses will provide training at the beginning of your placement to help familiarise you with the organisation.


How do I find a work placement?

Many organisations will list work placements on their websites and there are also several websites which specifically advertise volunteer opportunities.

Remember that some businesses receive a lot of emails asking to do work placements so you’re more likely to be successful if you contact them over the phone or go in and see somebody in person.

http://www.do-it.org.uk/search/vc/3695
https://exetercvs.org.uk/volunteer
http://www.studentladder.co.uk/Work-Experience/work-experience.html
http://www.work-experience.org/
http://www.gothinkbig.co.uk/opportunities

If there’s a business you’d love to work for then it might be worth getting in touch with them and offering to work for free.


What if I don’t like the placement or something else comes up?

Remember that you aren’t getting paid so you can leave a placement whenever you like. However, it’s always a good idea to talk things through your supervisor first and give them a fair amount of notice so they can prepare for your departure.

Supporting the wider community

26 Mar

In our work with Opportunity Plus, we have come across some truly fantastic community centres and groups, and we want to share some of the great work that is happening out there.

Does your community group need some support? 

Here are some of the things that we can do for you:

  • Create a Facebook page for your community and teach you how to use it
  • Offer free face painting at fundraising and other events
  • Feature you on our blog.
  • Get in touch to see how we could help your centre.

Balloons

Balloons work with bereaved children in the Exeter area to help them through the grieving and healing process.  They have volunteering opportunities available and offer full training.  Find out more at www.balloonscharity.co.uk

The Hub Yeovil

The Hub Yeovil is a community centre working with disabled people.  They run a range of microenterprises to teach members valuable life and enterprise skills.  www.thehubyeovil.co.uk

Healthy Babies UK

Healthy Babies UK provide training to healthcare professionals, children’s centre staff, nursery workers and mothers to support the health, development, and wellbeing of babies and young children.  www.healthy-babies-uk.org

The Money Advice Service

If you have any questions about money – investments, debt, budgeting – then the Money Advice Service can help.  Call them on 0300 500 5000 for free advice and support.

Training

The Education and Training Level 3 course has replaced the old Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Sector qualification, and enables you to teach anything that you are qualified or experienced in to adults (16+).  Information, Advice and Guidance is another useful qualification for the community sector.  Call us or email info@opsw.co.uk for more information.

What community centres do you use?  Why not visit your local centre to find out more about what they do and get involved!  Check out www.do-it.org or your local CVS office to find out if there are any volunteering opportunities near you.

Volunteering in Health

19 Mar

Can you spare an hour a week?
Volunteers urgently needed!

Volunteering in Health is a small local independent charity based in Teignmouth, Devon.  We rely on volunteers to support our elderly, isolated and vulnerable people in the community. We provide a very wide range of services including driving people to medical appointments, befriending, shopping, benefits advice, memory cafes, carers meetings, coffee mornings, hospital volunteering – the list goes on and on. You name it we do it to help support and improve people’s quality of life.

Volunteering in Health are calling for people to volunteer in their community, for just an hour a week. Tina Graham, Manager, said “We are desperate for people to join us in a variety of roles. An hour a week can make all the difference to someone’s life. We pay all expenses which covers the cost of running a car. Everyone has something they can give – with the range of services we provide we urgently need new volunteers especially for driving and befriending. With the winter approaching and the dark nights drawing in, many people will not see anybody from one week to the next.”

Claire joined as a volunteer and offers befriending to Edna.  She said “I moved to Teignmouth in October 2011 and, being new to the area and not in employment, I wanted to get involved in my new community.  I was introduced to Edna who I have been visiting for around 18 months for an hour or two a week which fits easily in around my work schedule and other commitments.  Edna, like many people in Teignmouth, had periods through the week where she was lonely and didn’t see anybody and I am glad to be able to make a difference in that regard. We sometimes sit and just chat and have a cuppa and a biscuit, some days we will make cards, something Edna struggles to do on her own these days”.  Edna, 93, said “I really enjoy seeing Claire and look forward to the visit every week. If she didn’t come round I wouldn’t see anyone at all.  It is difficult for me to get out and about, but with Claire`s help she makes that possible.  It’s a real treat”

Malcolm has been a volunteer driver for 3 years “My specific contribution to volunteering is driving people to medical appointments.  Mileage expenses cover my fuel costs and are a significant contribution towards running my car. The patient benefits as they have a one to one service as we often stay with patients therefore we are able to bring them straight home at the end of their appointment without any waiting around.  It is a win-win situation.  I can work the hours that suit me and use my experience of life to help others through what sometimes is a very stressful situation.”

Tina Graham added that “We can always find a way to use a willing volunteer.  We need people to help fundraise, the list goes on!  Do not be shy in coming forward.  You will be made to feel very welcome and will be very much appreciated.  Training will be given and volunteering can be a first step towards paid employment.”

If you feel you can help or want to find out more, please contact Tina Graham, Manager, on 01626 774484 or email tina.graham@nhs.net

For more information, visit www.volunteeringinhealth.co.uk.

Originally posted at http://fleximum.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/volunteering-in-health/ and in Flexi-Mum 2.

Bye Bye Chloe

10 Mar

After 18 months at Opportunity Plus South West, I am moving on to pastures new.  Back in October, I attended an Opening Event at the new offices for the Citizens Advice Bureau in Teignbridge, where I met Tina Graham from Volunteering in Health.  I found out more about the charity and their great work, and when a job vacancy came up in February I couldn’t resist the chance to become part of the team.  I will be starting on Monday 17th March and my new role will be Volunteer Coordinator, and I will also be coordinating the charity’s new Home Help Service.

I will be looking to recruit new volunteers in the Teignbridge area, to befriend elderly people, and drive people to hospital appointments.  There will also be opportunities for people looking to gain administration skills or help out with events and fundraising – so please give me a call on 01626 774484 if you are interested in volunteering.

But it’s not just volunteers I’m after, there will also be opportunities for people who want to become self employed cleaners or handymen, with the backing of Volunteering in Health.  Please call 01626 774484 for more information.  Don’t forget Opportunity Plus can help you to get set up too – just call 0800 043 2440.

I’m sad to leave Opportunity Plus, but looking forward to getting started on a new project.

Flexi-Mum Project

22 Apr

We are delighted to announce that Flexi-Mum, a pilot project set up by Opportunity Plus South West to support Mums of all ages to develop and improve their work-life balance, has been supported by the Big Lottery and has received an Awards for All grant.  This funding will allow us to inspire Mums of all ages and backgrounds across Devon and Somerset, and beyond, to pursue their goals, and make the most of their local resources.

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We started running Flexi-Mum as part of the second phase of the main Opportunity Plus South West project.  A large proportion of our customers seeking business start up support in the first phase of the project were Mums looking to start their own business to gain more flexibility, or to top up their part time employment income, often using new skills and passions they had discovered since becoming a parent.  Flexi-Mum is designed to support Mums (with children of any age) with the specific difficulties they can face.  This includes things like:

  • Returning to employment after maternity leave
  • Starting your own business
  • Seeking new, flexible employment
  • Volunteering
  • Retraining
  • Choosing to take a career break to focus on parenting

We have been out and about meeting Mums across Devon and Somerset to discuss their needs/worries and have come across a range of inspirational stories and ways of managing work-life balance as a working parent.

MRPDESK

With the funding we have been awarded, we will be publishing three magazines as part of this project, to inspire and motivate Mums.  If you would like to write an article for the magazine, please get in touch.  We are looking for a range of articles, and would love to hear your ideas.  This is a really exciting opportunity for anyone looking to get into any kind of journalism, or wanting to promote their business, or just share their story to inspire others.

You can find out more about Flexi-Mum by following us on Facebook, joining our Facebook group for peer support, and reading our blog.  If you would like to discuss your own situation, call our friendly advisors on 0800 043 2440.

View the Fleximum advert.