New Year – New You – Where to give your valuable time this 2019

Five Reasons Why #Volunteering Should Be on Your New Year’s Resolution List

I know Resolutions can sometimes feel a bit tired, but they can still be useful. Many of us will spend a lot of energy setting dos and don’ts for the year ahead. ‘New year, new me’, and all that.

Here are my five reasons why volunteering should be on your list of resolutions for 2019.

  1. Anyone can volunteer

Yes, anyone. All you need is that desire to want to change the world for the better. “You don’t need cash or qualifications, just the motivation to make a difference.

  1. There are so many different opportunities

No matter what issue you’re passionate about, there is a voluntary opportunity out there for you. Whether it’s getting young people to vote or supporting students from disadvantaged backgrounds as a mentor, bag packing to getting involved in a clean-up, could be even admin. There is a wide ranging choice to choose from.

  1. You can make a difference

Consideration to the many charities operating across the city of Sunderland beforehand can be an option. Things like, Youth, Unemployment, Homelessness, Health and Social Care, to name but a few. But through seeing first-hand the impact your work has on the local community, you can learn that while an individual might not be able to solve these big issues alone, we can collectively have an impact that can create a ripple effect. Your get a chance to give something back, by extending yourself and ‘filling the gaps’, you can support community resources that you use yourself or that benefit people your care about.

  1. Making a change together is the key

The key is to “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Do not be disheartened by the scale of the challenge because together we can all do our little bit to make this world a better place. Working together leads me to number five…

  1. You make friends for life

You meet the most amazing people and form the strongest friendships through volunteering. Initially, you join the charities and groups to volunteer and within time realise have many things in common, become friends with a shared passion.

In 2019, however you may decide to make a difference to our world, always remember what Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world… it’s the only thing that ever has.”

NOW – what are you going to do? Need help to think things through? Give us a call at the office and we can make that decision a whole lot easier for you. OR visit our www.volunteersunderland.org  website and enter SR1 1NA post code, click within a 50 mile radius and start viewing the whole range of volunteer opportunities available across the city right now.

Good luck, Best wishes and Happy Volunteering throughout 2019

Gillian – Volunteer Sunderland  

Dip your toe into the volunteer experience!

If you have thought about volunteering, but aren’t sure whether it will fit into your lifestyle or are worried about whether you have enough to offer, read on!

Volunteering covers almost every possible activity you can think of from washing up to specialist technical work – but you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. That’s the benefit of becoming a volunteer through an agency like Volunteer Sunderland.

  • You get to look at a wide range of vacancies so you can pick the ones that appeal to you most
  • You can decide how much time you want to commit, you won’t be forced to commit hours if you don’t want to
  • You can always say ‘no’; charities understand that sometimes your work or family demands must come first
  • You can choose how far you are prepared to travel

In other words, you’re in control.

A rewarding experience for all ages

If you’re looking for a new interest you’ll be surprised at how fascinating volunteering can be. Forget these myths:

  • Volunteers are older people – but can be for as young as 16.
  • Volunteering is unpaid labour – yes, it’s unpaid (although you can usually claim expenses) but it’s the way charities ensure that as much of the funds donated go to help their cause rather than get eaten up in running costs.
  • It needs a lot of your time – you choose how many hours you contribute
  • I’ll end up doing something boring – one person’s boring is another person’s favourite activity! You can say ‘no’ to opportunities and most charities try to match volunteers’ skills to activities where help is needed.
  • It’s a two way street, I give, they benefits, you feel the emotional benefit, it can reduce depression and a whole range of other health benefits.

Get stuck after sign up

VCAS Volunteer Centre can help you find the answers to what, where, when and how to volunteer. We work with local voluntary, community and charitable organisations that are in need of volunteers in order to fulfil their mission and help the people and communities in the city of Sunderland.

We maintain a database of volunteering opportunities in the city across all five areas, North, East, West, Coalfields and Washington. You can search and apply for roles that suit what you are looking for and can be accessed via our website www.volunteersunderland.org.uk

We also offer one-to-one appointments, either in person or over the telephone, giving you the chance to tell us about your own interests, what you want to get out of volunteering, and the skills and commitment you can offer. We can then help you to identify which organisations can benefit most from your input and which opportunities you might enjoy.

To book an appointment or ask any questions you can contact us at info@vcas.org.uk or telephone 0191 5651566

We are open Monday to Thursday 9.00 am – 4.30pm  and Friday 9.00 am – 4.00 pm

The Benefits of Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people. It allows you to connect with your community and make it a better place. It can also be of great benefit to you, allowing you to gain career experience, learn valuable new skills or to perhaps increase your self-confidence.

We Want Volunteers

Recruiting, Retaining and Rewarding Volunteers via Volunteer Sunderland

Getting the right people volunteering for your organisation can be the key to getting the right skills and experience on board and making your organisation run more smoothly. There are lots of reasons why people volunteer and are often very willing to help. To gain new skills, meet new people and have fun, share their expertise or to make a real difference to their community.

When new volunteers come on board it is important to create a positive working environment and to be clear about what you need upfront and about what tasks you will be asking your volunteers to carry out. Making sure volunteers are adequately trained, reimbursed for out of pocket expenses and thanked are all key to retaining volunteers.

If your organisation needs help with recruitment of volunteers, take the opportunity to use Volunteer Sunderland to get access to your local volunteer database. Contact us on 0191 5651566 or info@vcas.org.uk

You can register on the front page and start including volunteer opportunities immediately, which we will include on the online database available to the general public.