Volunteers Week 1-7 June 2019

During the week, hundreds of events and celebrations take place across the country, giving organisations and local communities the chance to say thank you to people who give their time to support good causes. From trustees and campaigners to carers and fundraisers, this is a great time to think about the fantastic contribution all your volunteers make.

Theme for Volunteers Week this year: Time to Celebrate

The theme for Volunteers’ Week is a chance to celebrate and say thank you for the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK.

Further information on the national Volunteers’ Week campaign can be found on the NCVO website: www.volunteersweek.org/

What is happening in Leicestershire?
Saturday 1 June & Sunday 2 June

Event:     Leicester Riverside Festival
Venue:    Western Blvd, Leicester LE2 7HN
Time:      Saturday 12pm – 6pm
               Sunday 12pm – 5pm

VAL will be promoting and showcasing volunteering at the event with case studies and members of VAL staff. Come along and meet VAL Staff at Leicester Riverside Festival.

Monday 3 June

VAL’s volunteering drop-in for Leicester City will be available on Monday, 10.30am-12.30pm. If you are interested in volunteering, then pop in to speak to someone from our team who will be able to help you to identify some possible volunteering opportunities.

Tuesday 4 June

Event:     Volunteer Celebration Event
Venue:    The BRITE Centre,
Time:      10.00am – 12.00pm noon

We’re holding a Volunteer Celebration Event at the Brite Centre in Leicester to bring together organisations looking for volunteers with potential volunteers. This event will run a bit different to previous events we have organised as it will involve a speed networking session to give people a chance to meet a range of different organisations and to ask some key questions to get a flavour of the opportunities available.

We are asking anyone interested in volunteering to book a place via Eventbrite to give us an idea on numbers and to prepare the space for the event: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/volunteer-celebration-event-tickets-5921776994

VAL’s volunteering drop-in for Leicester City will be available on Tuesday, 10.30am-12.30pm. If you are interested in volunteering, then pop in to speak to someone from our team who will be able to help you to identify some possible volunteering opportunities.

Wednesday 5 June

Event:     Hinckley Library drop-in
Venue:    Hinckley Library, Lancaster Road, LE10 0AT
Time:      10.30am – 12.30pm noon

Come and meet local organisations looking for volunteers!

  • No need to book, just pop along on the day
  • Meet representatives from local charities and organisations
  • Find out how you can make a difference while learning new skills
  • Make friends and have fun through volunteering

For more information, contact: Voluntary Action Leicestershire Tel. 0116 2575050
or Email volunteering@valonline.org.uk   https://www.volunteerleicestershire.org.uk/

Thursday 6 June

Event:     Volunteer Celebration Event
Venue:    John Storer House – Loughborough, Ward’s End, Loughborough LE11 3HA
Time:      10.00am – 12.00pm noon

We’re holding a Volunteer Celebration and Networking Event at John Storer House Loughborough to bring together local voluntary organisations to celebrate the work of their volunteers and network with one another. Like the event in Leicester, this event will run a bit differently to previous events we have organised as it will involve a speed networking session to give local volunteer co-ordinators, volunteers and members of the public a chance to meet a range of different organisations and to ask some key questions to get a flavour of their work. This event will also be open to people interested in volunteering to find out more about local volunteering opportunities.

For more information, contact: Voluntary Action Leicestershire Tel. 0116 2575050
or Email volunteering@valonline.org.uk   https://www.volunteerleicestershire.org.uk/

Thursday 6 June

Event:     Ashby Event
Venue:    Hood Park Leisure Centre
Time:      3.00pm – 6.00pm noon

This event isn’t just about volunteering, but celebrating everything that goes on in the Ashby area. You might want to take up a new hobby or sport, get involved as a volunteer or show some support for the local community. Ashby has a thriving community and lots to offer, but sometimes people just don’t know what is out there or how to get involved. Whatever your interests, there is something out for you, so come along to find out more!

This session will be open to the public, local groups, businesses and organisations to promote local services, to learn about what is on offer in and around Ashby, and to encourage more people to volunteer and get involved in their local community. There will be information stalls from a variety of different community groups and organisations and the opportunity to chat to people about how you could get involved in their activities. You can drop in at any time between 3-6pm and find out more about what is happening in the local community.

Friday 7 June

Event:     On-line drop-in service
Venue:    Online
Time:      10.30am – 12.30pm noon

To try a different way to engage volunteers we are offering a special online drop in service for volunteers and organisations. The way this will work is some of our staff and volunteers will be dedicating time to be available on twitter, Facebook and an online chat during this time ask us any questions, share any comments or ideas related to volunteering we will be responding online to share feedback and learning.

VAL Volunteering Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/valvolunteering/

Twitter https://twitter.com/DaveCliffe_VAL

Email volunteering@valonline.org.uk

Monday, Tuesday & Thursday VAL Drop in Sessions –

Event:     VAL Volunteering Drop-In
Venue:    Voluntary Action Leicestershire, 9 Newarke Street, Leicester, LE1 5SN
Time:      10.30am to 12.30pm

If you are interested in volunteering, then pop in to speak to someone from our team who will be able to help you to identify some possible volunteering opportunities.


Nominate a deserving voluntary group for The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

The group being nominated must:
  • have at least two people doing volunteering work, and have been running for 3 years.
  • have more volunteers than paid staff
  • provide a local service and meet a need for people living in the community
  • be supported, recognised and respected by the local community and the people who benefit from it.
  • have significantly benefitted others and demonstrated excellence in volunteering
Winning groups receive:
  • a certificate signed by The Queen and a domed glass crystal, presented personally by HM Lord-Lieutenant; and
  • two representatives from the group will be invited to attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.
So how do you make a nomination?

You must be independent of the group you are nominating.
Nominations can be made online at http://qavs.direct.gov.uk where further guidance is available

Submit your nomination by 13th September 2019 to make sure the group is considered for the 2020 awards. The awards are announced on 2 June each year.

Top tips when nominating:

Make contact with group – they can provide information to support your nomination and it doesn’t matter if they know you are nominating them.
Be factually correct as nominations will be assessed and checked.
Pack as much into as few words as possible – focus on achievements and what difference the group makes
If you would like any advice or support with your nomination, please contact the Lieutenancy Office. We have valuable experience that we can share with you to strengthen your nomination.


Carers caring for Carers – Staying Well Together

As part of this work, VAL gave feedback to the funder about the issues local VCSE organisations had experienced with the stage one-application form.  They are going to take this information into account to make the application more user friendly.

VAL continued to support applicants that reached the stage two process with advice on what to include in various sections of the form and a read and review of the application.  Funding will enable a number of local VCSE organisations, to deliver local initiatives that local people will create and shape which will help their community or neighbourhood to become even better.

People’s Health Trust’s Grants Support Officer Martine Fitt says, “It’s important to the Trust to work with local organisations and use their knowledge and expertise to support groups to apply for an Active Communities grant, and ensure we are reaching people in neighbourhoods experiencing disadvantage.

One of the VCSE organisations that VAL supported with the stage two application was Carers of Leicestershire Advocacy and Support Project.

Support included what to include in various aspects of the application form, demonstrating that the project idea aligned with the criteria and ethos of the Active Community programme.

Kirsteen McVeigh, GP Partnership Worker at The Carers Centre says “Thanks very much for your support with our People’s Health Trust bid, your notes and suggestions were much appreciated. “

Carers caring for Carers – Staying Well Together

The project will offer 6 x 10 week programmes of weekly activity sessions that will support carers to look after and focus on their own health and wellbeing. A Carers Steering Group will directly lead the project. They will decide when and where the activity sessions will take place, as well as what type of activity the different programmes will focus on. Pre project consultation identified a wide range of activities that carers felt would support them to improve their health and wellbeing and included everything from gardening to crafts to yoga and mindfulness

Kirsteen McVeigh, GP Partnership Worker says: “Carers tell us how difficult they can find it to look after their own health and wellbeing when they’re looking after a family member or friend. Stress, lack of sleep, back pain, depression, diabetes; all of these issues and many more result in carers being twice as likely to suffer poor health as well as having 40% raised mortality.

Nobody knows more about the impact of caring on health than carers themselves and that is why we really appreciate this funding from Peoples Health Trust, which will allow carers to decide for themselves what they need. This project is a great opportunity for people to take some time out for themselves and focus on their own health and wellbeing – something which can often seem impossible during the caring day but with a little extra support, can make all the difference.”

To find out how you as a funder, or business interested in setting up a grant scheme as part of your corporate social responsibility initiatives could value from taking to VAL contact them on their sector support helpline 0116 257 5050  helpline@valonline.org.uk.

If you are a VCSE organisation and are looking at how to fund your service delivery/projects please contact VAL at 0116 2575 5050 helpline@valonline.org.uk. VAL can provide various support including guidance on funding criteria, read and review of draft applications, and funding searches.

About Voluntary Action Leicestershire (VAL)

Voluntary Action LeicesterShire is a charity that focuses on improving the lives of people in Leicester & Leicestershire. We do this through direct service delivery and by providing support to the local voluntary and community sector. Find out more at www.valonline.org.uk

About Carers of Leicestershire Advocacy and Support Project

Based in Leicester City Centre overlooking the Train Station, the charitable company is known as The Carers Centre, they support family carers across the diverse population of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland who look after people with different needs.

The project Carers caring for Carers – Staying Well Together funded by People’s Health Trust using money raised by Health Lottery East Midlands,is open to all unpaid carers who live in Leicester City or Oadby & Wigston. The project starts in the autumn.

If you are interested in finding out more or would like to be involved in setting up and directing the project through the work of the Carers Steering Group please get in touch with Kirsteen McVeigh at The Carers Centre on 0116 251 0999 or email:  enquiries@thecarerscentre.org.uk

About People’s Health Trust

People’s Health Trust is an independent charity investing in local neighbourhoods to help create a society without health inequalities. It works closely with each of the regional and country lotteries raising money through The Health Lottery, and distributes grants.


VAL and CASE collaborate to bring you social enterprise & investment support

VAL will also support the VCS to collaborate, develop new strategies, secure increased contracts and leverage social investment. The project activities include sending out regular news and information on social enterprise & investment, delivering investment readiness workshops, training and network development.

Why this project is important

It is important that VCS groups think about the direction they are going and where income will come from in the long term, and we advise groups to develop diverse income sources so that they are more resilient in the long term. Income from trading is one good source of funding because it is unrestricted and it can be used to not only develop the business side of the organisation but it can also be used to invest in social outcomes. This project is therefore important because it will provide the support and training that groups need to develop their funding plans so that can address local needs in the long term.

What has happened so far

The VAL sector support team has attended training in social enterprise and investment and is working with CASE to proactively identify and support local VCS organisations that want to develop and grow through trading and investment. VAL is also currently in discussion with Commissioners at the Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council about potential options and opportunities for collaboration and social investment.

CASE delivered a social enterprise and investment workshop in March – where groups learnt about investment readiness and social investment and received information, resources and tools for business planning.

CASE has also been working with VAL and other CVSs across the East Midlands to communicate information about social enterprise and social investment to the VCS including case studies, resources, good practice, and social enterprise news.

Future plans

If you are interested in accessing support to develop and grow through enterprise and investment then contact the VAL Sector Support Helpline – helpline@valonline.org.uk – 0116 257 5050 or CASE on T. 0116 222 5010, email enquiries@case.coop

We recommend that groups come along to our next event called ‘Let’s Talk Good Finance’ to find out more about social investment and to meet a social investor. It is being held at VAL on 18th June 2019. Further details can be found here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lets-talk-good-finance-east-midlands-leicester-tickets-60752028954 We will also be running further workshops on social enterprise and investment, so watch this space.

To keep up to date, follow VAL and CASE on social media @CaseCooperative @valonline and regularly check your inboxes!