June – a Youth Work volunteer

June is probably the longest serving volunteer  youth worker in Kirklees.  She has been involved in youth work since 1963, as a worker, and since 1995 as a volunteer.  That’s 54 years of continuous service to the young people of our district.

WheJune Barrown asked what keeps her going, June said that the young people had become a huge part of her life.  Being able to have contact with young people, give them help and advice and have fun with them, means she can leave her own problems behind and focus on them.  She believes it doesn’t matter that there’s such a big age gap between herself and the young people, saying: “as long as you’re doing a good job, age doesn’t matter.”  At the end of a night’s work, if she’s managed to help anyone, or give them the support they need, or beaten anyone at table tennis, she’s happy!   The current staff confirm that June is a big hit with the young people, and has become something of a role model.  Hannah Bettany, current Youth Worker in Holmfirth, said: “I don’t know what we’d do without her.”

As a youth worker, the greatest reward you can get is when the young people come back to you, when they’ve grown up, to tell you what you meant to them. As one grown-up young man said to June when she mentioned that she had no children of her own: “What do you mean, no children?  You’ve got absolutely hundreds!”

This year June has been honoured with an Exceptional Service Award for her contribution to volunteering in Kirklees. June’s response to being granted the Award was: “By gum! I’m still valuable!”

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Adrian – a Family Support volunteer

When Adrian left work in 2015 to start his own businesses as a Life Coach, he knew he wanted to volunteer to give back to the community before work commitments took over.

Adrian had volunteered with young people before and for some years had offered respite foster care: so when he was looking for a voluntary role, he knew he wanted to find something that would use his experience with young people as well as his skills as a life coach.  Adrian searched on the Do-It database, and found the Family Support role at Northorpe HallAdrian Wales.

 

As a Family Support volunteer, Adrian was matched to the family of an 8 year old boy with challenging behaviour. He spent two hours a week with the boy, giving him space to share his feelings without being judged and giving him tips on managing his anger (as well as some tips on football skills!) Mum also benefitted as Adrian offered her some 1-2-1 life coaching sessions, helping her not only to understand why she reacted to her son the way she did, but also to see things from his point of view.  Coaching also gave her hope, by helping her to think about her own aspirations and ambitions.

 

At first, Adrian wasn’t sure how much impact he was having on the boy he was matched with, it took so long for the boy to trust him and open up. But, slowly and surely the relationship grew, and now the match has come to an end, both mum, boy and Adrian himself were able to share with each other the ten things they had learned from their time together.  The boy can manage his anger better and work through his feelings, the mum now knows she is resilient and can understand why her son behaved as he did.  Through having Adrian volunteer, everyone learned to never give up.

Read about becoming a Family Supoort volunteer here: http://www.iminkirklees.org.uk/makeadifference/familysupport/

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Lorna – a library volunteer

Lorna loves books.  She loves them so much her own home is almost a library, so volunteering at Marsden Library and being surrounded by books is an ideal way to indulge her passion.  It has proved to be a perfect fit for her skills and experience as a retired Early Years teacher, too.  Every Friday afternoon in term time, Lorna takes classes from the local school for Storytime sessions:  sometimes she reads to them, while at other times she uses her skills as a former puppeteer and makes masks with them to tell the story. The rest of her shift is spent tidying shelves, helping people find the books they want, encouraging children to try new books and giving out Tourist Information.

 

Marsden library is the focal point of the village and provides residents with far more than just books.  As wellLorna Goldman as providing access to tourist information and computers, people often come in for a chat, and children use it as a safe place to wait.  The library is of huge benefit to the community, providing a resource which Lorna is keen to protect. When the call came for people to volunteer to step up to support the library service, Lorna and her husband Steve came forward to become some of the founder members of the Friends of Marsden Library group.

 

As part of this group, Lorna has been heavily involved in fund raising and organising activities to attract more people to use the library.  The activities held for Chinese New Year brought in a great number of people to the library, as does the regular Saturday Lego Club, which is a great way of attracting more children.  The library continues to be a big demand on her time, but while Lorna still has the opportunity to enjoy what she calls, “playing with books”, it all seems worthwhile to her!

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Vera – a Public Health Volunteer

At almost 92, Vera must surely be one of the oldest volunteers in Kirklees and she is certainly one of the longest serving: she has been a volunteer for the Public Health Service since retiring 25 years ago. There is no one working currently in Public Health who has served as long as Vera!   Vera started volunteering in 1991 for Health Promotion, when it sat within the NHS at the Princess Royal Health Centre.  Since then she has seen so many changes within the Service over the years, with staff coming and leaving and new technology being introduced along with numerous building moves but has never let anything faze her.

 

Every Wednesday Vera comes in to help out with proof reading documents, counting leaflets, mailshots, laVeraminating and many other administration jobs asked of her. Vera has the skills to be able to use a PC to carry out her work.   She is not afraid to learn new things and has an extremely strong work ethic.

 

Over the years, Vera’s contribution to the team and her high standard of work has been a huge asset, and has helped Public Health carry out their duties with improving the quality of life for the people of Kirklees.  Her team say: “Vera is meticulous in her work, a lot of the time going above and beyond what is expected of her.   She is an example to us all and is a joy to have around the office.”

 

Volunteering really suits Vera.  She enjoys the social networking it gives her with staff and knowing she is making a valuable contribution to the community gives her a real sense of satisfaction.  Vera will be 92 in June. She has already done 25 years of volunteering and has no intention of stopping!

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Charlotte – Reading Friends Volunteer

When Charlotte was diagnosed with Guillian Barre Syndrome (GBS) five years ago, her life changed dramatically.  GBS affects the nervous system and causes muscle weakness, which meant Charlotte was unable to continue to work.  Determined not to give in to her illness, Charlotte has dedicated herself to volunteering and is now busier than ever!

Charlotte - Reading Friends

Charlotte hadn’t set out to become a volunteer, she fell into it almost by accident.  She had started taking adult education courses at her daughter’s school, and was encouraged by her tutor to take the Reading Friends course.  Although Charlotte had initially no interest in volunteering in schools, she enjoyed the course immensely, and has now been volunteering in her daughter’ school for two years.  Being a Reading Friends volunteer involves sitting with 3 children for 20 minutes each, once a week, and helping them to read, understand what they are reading and, most importantly, helping them to enjoy reading.

 

Charlotte loves this role.  It is flexible and fits around her lifestyle and her medical condition and she has found that being able to give something back to the community while learning new skills has really boosted her confidence.  She loves it when the children start to really engage with the books.  At first they are often quiet and withdrawn, but after three or four weeks they start to open up and show an interest in the book.  They become more chatty and when they start to laugh with you at something you are reading, or make connections themselves between different characters or different books, then you know you’ve really made a difference to that child’s reading level.  Charlotte finds it immensely rewarding: “The more attention you give them the more they blossom and start to engage.  They tell you everything about other books they’re reading in class as well as everything they did at the weekend!”

 

As well as being a Reading Friend, Charlotte is also a founder member and Chair of the school’s PTA, a peer mentor for the How Schools Work course, she runs an online support group for people with Sepsis and has just been asked to be lead volunteer for Yorkshire by the national charity.  Volunteering is certainly keeping her busy!

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Rod – Volunteer Walk Leader (Walking for Health)

In September 2013 Rod went for his annual MOT at his GP surgery and was to discover that he had developed Type 2 Diabetes. At 16 stone, he realised it was time to change his lifestyle. His main goal was to lose weight, and this meant changing his diet and increasing his activity levels.Rod - Walk Leader

His GP told him about PALs, the local GP exercise referral scheme, and he got signed up straight away. He started slowly, changing his diet first and then starting to work on his fitness as the weight started to drop. He started with one exercise class a week and a bit of badminton, gradually working up to four classes a week. Then Colin, a Physical Activity Motivator at Colne Valley Leisure Centre invited him to join the weekly health walk, so Rod went along and added regular walking to his expanding list of activities. As part of the PALs anniversary celebrations he had a go at Nordic walking and enjoyed it. So when a new weekly session started up in Marsden he became a regular. He enjoyed it so much he bought his own poles and started going to the Holmfirth group too.

Rod is now a fully qualified volunteer Walk Leader and Nordic Walk Leader. As well as enjoying the social side of organising walks, he his health has greatly benefitted from his volunteering. He now weighs a trim 10 ½ stone, exercises regularly, his BP and cholesterol have returned to normal and his Diabetes is well controlled.

Rod says: “I feel fitter now at 69 than when I was 59. Way back in 2013 I would get out of breath crossing the road and felt tired all the time. Now I feel energised.”

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Bright Ideas – invest your time to make an idea shine

A guest post from One Community, the Community Foundation for the people of Kirklees

Have you got skills that could be used to assist people to develop projects to make a difference in the community, but not been sure about how best to use them?

We at One Community are excited to work with I’m In on a new approach to funding to enable local people and groups bring their Bright Ideas to life.  We will bring together people with ideas, skills and money to develop projects to make a real difference to younger and older people in the community.

Normally One Community follows a formal application process but Bright Ideas allows people to pitch their ideas to us in about 100 words. This is a much quicker process; a different and exciting way to apply for funding.

Businesses, and other local employers, are volunteering their staff to team up with people with Bright Ideas, to create full proposals. This will then be pitched to our donor funders at a Dragon’s Den style event. Donors will choose where to put their money to make a real impact.

Bright Ideas donor Jimmy Dickinson Managing Partner, Longley Farm said: “I am thrilled to be a supporter of the new  ‘Bright  Ideas’ initiative between One Community and Kirklees Council. It’s a great venture. It matches local donations with funds from the Council, to support and develop good ideas from individuals and the voluntary sector.”

Jimmy Dickinson  of Longley Farm with Sir John Harman, Chair of One Community

Jimmy Dickinson of Longley Farm with Sir John Harman, Chair of One Community

Bright Ideas will help community groups and individuals to develop great responses to benefit younger and older people.   We couldn’t do this without the support of local donors and businesses and we are grateful for their support. For anyone thinking about volunteering it’s a great opportunity to work with a small team with diverse backgrounds to come up with innovative solutions to real needs.

Everyone involved is looking forward to the challenge of developing some fantastic project ideas.

If you want to join us then please contact One Community

Tel: 01484 468397

Email: brightideas@one-community.org.uk

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Well Done Priya! Volunteer of the Year

Priya - volunteer

Priya – Student Volunteer of the Year 2016

At Gateway Volunteer Service we are delighted to announce that Priya, a valuable volunteer, has been Awarded Huddersfield University Student Union, Volunteer of the Year Award 2015-16.

As a Volunteer Peer Mentor Priya supports the work of the Supported Volunteer Service, and gives time and commitment to give one to one support and encouragement to people who are new to volunteering and need some extra input to get started. She has supported a number of new volunteers: young women who have experienced domestic violence, a young woman with autism, as well as assisting individuals with mental health issues.  She has been willing to volunteer at short notice, has worked across all of Kirklees, and is invaluable in that she will also spend time in the office helping us with research and enquiries. In particular, she has given us lots of assistance in getting organised for Volunteers Week.

Priya  is also  a volunteer befriender for older people with Royal Voluntary Services and is Vice President of Huddersfield University Mindfulness Society.

Priya’s commitment, enthusiasm, and hardwork are outstanding and we are very proud she is part of the Gateway Volunteer Team.

On the 9th June we will be holding our Volunteers’ Week Celebration Event to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of Priya and all our volunteers.

Janet and Catherine

Gateway Volunteer Co-ordinators

PS – If you are interested in learning more about Gateway Volunteers, 

We are always happy to hear from new volunteers!

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Let’s Celebrate… it’s Volunteers’ Week!

Volunteers’ Week is even bigger and even better this year – it’s even longer… with 12 days of celebrations.

Here in Kirklees we have a number of great events, including:

 

chives,lavenderMirfield Health Walk

Wednesday 1st June –10:30-12:30 – Meet at Mirfield Library at 10:00

If you go down to the woods today… you might meet Viv the (Very Important Volunteer) Bear who will be visiting volunteer projects to say thank you, starting with this Health Walk with volunteers and Friends Of Mirfield Library.

More information from Ashley Lucas, Tel: 01484 221000 or Email: Ashley.lucas@kirklees.gov.uk

 

NCS Case Study PicNCS summer 16 Launch Event

Thursday 2nd June – 13:00 – 16:00 – Textile Centre of Excellence HD2 1YF

Come along and celebrate the launch of the National Citizen Service (NCS) summer programme.

Tel: 01484 484168 or Dexter.Barnes@thezone.uk.com

 

people helping peopleCM456People Helping People Event 2016 – The impact sessions

Monday 6th June – 09:30-16:30 – Huddersfield Cathedral House, St Thomas Road, HD1 3LG

A range of third sector organisations will be at the conference hearing from experts on how to develop their work with volunteers

More information from Ashley Lucas, Tel: 01484 221000 or Email: Ashley.lucas@kirklees.gov.uk

 

Giving feels goodHappy Hour – the launch

Monday 6th June – 09:50 – Huddersfield Cathedral House, St Thomas Road, HD1 3LG

During the People Helping People Event, the Kirklees Happy Hour campaign will be launched, to get more people to volunteer for at least one hour this year.

More information: www.iminkirklees.org.uk/happyhour

 

P1370458Recovery College Volunteer Fair

Tuesday 7th June, 11:00-14:00 – Pathways, Nettleton Road, Mirfield, WF14 9AQ

Organisations will have stalls and be providing taster sessions to promote their work

More information from Simon on Tel: 01924 326540 or Email: recovery.kirklees@swyt.nhs.uk

 

P1370380Dewsbury Market Volunteer Stall

Wednesday 8th June10:00-16:00 – Dewsbury Market

Come to Dewsbury Market to see what volunteering opportunities are available from organisations across Kirklees.

More information from Lynn McCarron on Tel: 01924 454875 or Email: lynn.mccarron@cloverleaf-advocacy.co.uk

 

IMG_6160WomenCentre Celebration Event

Wednesday 8th June10:30-12:00 – WomenCentre Allotment, located off St Johns Road behind St Johns Church

Celebration of the role volunteers play in running the WomenCentre.

More information from Sobiya Din on Tel: 01484 450866 or Sobiya.din@womencentre.org.uk

 

P1370358North Huddersfield Trust School Volunteer Fair

Wednesday 8th June – 14:00-17:00 – Northfield Hall, Norfolk Avenue, HD2 1GS

Organisations will be promoting their opportunities for local residents.

Contact Lorna Wright on Tel: 01484 223888, Ext 206 or Email: lwright@nhtschool.co.uk

 

gardeningMicrovolunteering

Thursday 9th June – 10:00-12:00 Oakwell Hall Country Park, Birstall, WF17 9LG

Volunteers will be helping to maintain the beautiful grounds of Oakwell Hall.

Contact: Patrick Crowley on  tel:01924 326244 or Patrick.crowley@kirklees.gov.uk

Photo opportunity: 11:00 volunteers undertaking microvolunteering tasks

 

P1370442Mencap Volunteer Open Day

Friday 10th June – 14:30-16:30 – Waverley Café, Waverley Road, Huddersfield 

Mencap will be celebrating their volunteers and recruiting new ones at this open day

Contact Shelley on Tel: 01484 340811 or Shelley.lane@mencapinkirklees.org.uk

 

people enjoying a walk through bluebellsWild Flower Counting and picnic

Saturday 11th June – 10:00-12:30 – Dewsbury Country Park

Families will be enjoying the beautiful surroundings of Dewsbury Country Park whilst monitoring the diversity of flowers before having a picnic afterwards.

Contact: Simon Pedley on Tel: 01484 221000 or Simon.pedley@kirklees.gov.uk

 

IMG_6204You and Your Community

Saturday 11th June – 10:00-13:00 – Volunteering Kirklees

Volunteering Kirklees is opening its doors for Saturday shoppers to find out about all the different ways that they can volunteer.

Tel: 01484 519053 or Contact: chris@vkirklees.org.uk

 

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People Helping People2016 – The Impact Sessions

 people helping peopleCM456Here’s a gentle reminder for everyone who has not yet booked their place for the 2016 People Helping People conference:

Monday 6th June 9.30-4.30

Cathedral House, Saint Thomas Road, Huddersfield, HD1 3LG

This year we are focused on impact. Colleagues from public, private and third sectors will hear about new innovations and share great practice on working effectively with volunteers and enhancing and evidencing the phenomenal impact they deliver.

We have made the day’s activities flexible so people can attend the morning conference, or the afternoon masterclass, or both. Just state on your booking which you would like to attend.

This event is for people from across the public, private and third sectors working with or planning to work volunteers. As in previous years, we are based in Kirklees but colleagues and friends from across the North of England and beyond are more than welcome to join us.

 

MORNING: CONFERENCE

Our keynote speaker, Rob Jackson, is an international voice on volunteering in the 21st Century. He will talk about national and international trends in making sure that the impact of volunteering is high on everyone’s agenda.

Our workshops, hosted by a variety of experts will include:

  • Measuring Volunteering – Exploring ways you can show the impact, celebrate success and prove the value of your volunteers.
  • Working with Business Volunteers – Hear directly from businesses on what will attract them to your cause.  Businesses want to work with you to make a real impact in our communities. .
  • Developing meaningful volunteer roles – Working out what you really need from your volunteers and describing it better will help attract the right volunteers for the impact you want
  • Marketing your organisation – How to make an impact with your marketing and attract volunteers to you as well as how to make your organisation volunteer friendly.
  • Happy Hour – How to create attractive short term, one off micro volunteering opportunities that still have impact. And how just one happy hour can lead to many more.

 LUNCH

Over lunch, you are warmly invited to spend time networking with colleagues from across the region.

 

AFTERNOON: MASTERCLASS

Safeguarding and Working with Volunteers – the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) and Your Organisation

Lyn Gavin, Partnership Engagement Lead from the Disclosure & Barring Service will deliver definitive and specialist guidance on how this service works, when you should be applying it and what it means for your organisation and your work with volunteers.

 

To book your place, please follow the link below.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/people-helping-people-event-2016-the-impact-sessions-tickets-25263410541

 

We look forward to seeing you there.

The People Helping People Team

 

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