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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End of Year Volunteer Celebration Event

This month our guest blogger is Jim Dodds, Mayor of Kirklees who hosted two end of year celebration events for volunteers last week.

volunteers

This time of year usually provides us with the opportunity to take stock of the past year.  This week I had the pleasure of attending a volunteer celebration event to say thank you to volunteers for the amazing contribution they have made in Kirklees over the past year.  It is estimated that over 30 million hours are given a year in Kirklees: but it is not just the amount of hours given which is amazing. It is also the difference these hours make to the lives of people in Kirklees.  Volunteering has meant:

 

  • we have been able to offer the vital hand of friendship to many of the older generation, for whom it is more difficult to get out and about
  • when some people have experienced trauma in their lives, there has been someone there to say “it’s okay you are not alone”
  • that for people going through tough times we have been able to say, “Here’s some food, here’s some clothes, and let’s together help make life better”
  • people fleeing war and persecution, who have been too close to the worst that the world has to offer, have been welcomed and helped to make a new life here
  • hundreds of miles of paths are regularly cleared so that more of us can experience the stunning beauty of this place we call home
  • children (of all ages!) have been able to take part in outdoor activities, sport and experience the true value of teamwork, physical exercise and all the benefits that this will bring to them throughout their lives
  • people who have been the furthest from the job market have been able to find opportunities to learn and to develop skills in non-threatening and nurturing community environments, often cheered on by people who have been in the same position

 

And this really is where volunteering particularly comes into its own – more so than any other kind of help.  It makes it possible to reach out to people experiencing something incredibly difficult, or personal, because it is something the volunteers themselves have survived.  Whether it be bereavement, sexual violence or life limiting conditions, it means having someone to talk to who has walked that mile in shoes just like yours.  Sometimes that can sometimes make all the difference.  And what better way to show the diffevolunteersrence volunteering makes than from the volunteers themselves.

I said that there are more than 30 million volunteer hours in Kirklees. And it’s true that we may never know the full extent of everything those hours achieve. But we do know that it is much to be thankful for.

So, on behalf of everyone in Kirklees:  Thank You.

Keep up the great work you are doing, and may your work inspire more like you in 2017!

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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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What are you doing this summer?

Welcome to our guest blogger Dexter, working on the National Citizen Service in Kirklees. He is looking for organisations who would love to work with him and his merry volunteers this summer.

Who do you picture when you hear the word volunteer?

Dexter

Dexter

Not many of you will be imagining a bunch of fresh faced 16 year olds straight out of their GCSEs.

Not yet anyway. It will be a hard picture to avoid this summer. 390 young people from across Huddersfield will be embarking on the journey of a lifetime, redecorating, gardening and fundraising their way through oodles of community projects.

The youngsters will be taking part in National Citizen Service (NCS), a government funded programme that sees them pushing their comfort zones, learning new skills and giving back to the community.

My name is Dexter and I work on the NCS programme at Huddersfield Community Trust (HCT). I’d like to talk a little about how NCS is changing perceptions on volunteering forever. I’ll also mention how local organisations can get involved with these incredible young people.

Callum eats a cockroach

Callum eats a cockroach

In 2015 NCS groups at HCT volunteered 4000 hours and fundraised over £13,000. All for much needing local organisations. The young people are given the framework and guidance to set up their own projects and that is why it works so well. NCS is empowering young people to make the changes that they want to see.

In October 2015 one group of NCSers took to the streets of Huddersfield to conduct bush tucker trials. They were eating bugs, hot sauce and other horrible things, all to raise awareness and funds for Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice.

In February 15 one group visited Leonard Cheshire care home, they socialised with the service users and spent the day gardening.

Champions of Success

Team New Champions of Success

In August one group spent a day recording information off headstones at All Hallows Church Almondbury. This information was compiled into a booklet that is now used to help locate specific headstones.

And back on a rainy day in July one group hopped on a bus to wales. They carried this forget me not banner up mount Snowdon and raised over £1,200 doing so.

Snowdon

Snowdon

That was just a sneak peek at some of the work that went on last year. Proof that inspired young people are out there doing amazing things in West Yorkshire. NCS sets young people up to be volunteers for LIFE. They often stay on with NCS after their project to do more community work. Better still, some stay on with their partner organisation and volunteer on a regular basis. There is so much more to come, NCS is going to massive in 2016.

We are currently looking for around 25 groups, organisations, and charities to collaborate with NCS in summer 2016. The projects are completely self-managed so will not be a burden to you or your staff. It could see 500 hours and over £1000 invested into your organisation. If you could benefit from being involved with one of our inspirational teams this summer, I’d love to hear from you.

Take a chance on today’s youth, you will not regret it.

 

DexterDexter Barnes

01484 484180

dexter.barnes@thezone.uk.com

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