Posts Tagged ‘volunteering’
Need some ideas that’ll get you off the couch and doing good things throughout the Easter holidays? Here are our favourite picks!
This week has been a busy week for all of us at vInspired, what with the National Awards on Tuesday night and schools breaking up for the Easter holidays. Happy Easter!
There are number of things you can get involved in over the Easter period all across the country, as well opportunities to simply volunteer from home.
Marathon season is fast approaching and there are a number of marathons and half marathons taking place around the country.
- In London, the UK’s biggest Marathon takes place on on April 17. Virgin’s London Marathon needs volunteers and you can volunteer for Arthritis Care by cheering on their squad.
- In Brighton you can volunteer as a photographer for Breast Cancer Awareness on April the 14. It’s a great chance for aspiring photographers to put their skills to use and get some work published.
If you can’t get to any of our registered opportunities this Easter, why not organise your own event?
- Bollocks to Poverty wants you to throw a party, gig, club night, exhibition, comedy night, sports event, or festival, using there free kit of materials like posters, banners stickers, badges and leaflets. Why not use the Easter break to plan a party?
- Planning on spending the Easter holidays glued to your computer? Put the time to good use and volunteer from home in front of your laptop! Help From Home has over 800 micro volunteer activities for all ages.
- If you’re curious about what lurks below the water, a volunteering opportunity has arisen to help find the Loch Ness Monster.
A webcam has been set up in Loch Ness, Scotland, specifically to catch a glimpse of the ever-elusive Nessie. If you see something peculiar, click the ‘Snapshot’ button on the website and submit your picture. You can spend either a few seconds or hours. It’s up to you!
- Lambeth borough of London is looking for graffiti artists. They are campaigning to transform the local community, regenerate the surroundings and ensure that locals see the benefits. It’s all legal, so no need to worry about being arrested for drawing on the walls!
At vInspired, we’re often asked why we think having a track record in volunteering is so important. After all, young people work hard, have access to education, and have the power to guide future generations. Why would they need to do anything extra?
The truth is that one of the hardest battles young people face today is the job market. No matter how much we’re told that we will come out of the recession unscathed, it’s the UK youth who are among the worst affected. Fighting for jobs is a gruelling process – so we’ve brought some good friends of ours along to talk about that.
Not Going To Uni are a hub for those who have decided against going to university, serving as the stopping place for help and advice on the next steps of their career. They’ve uncovered some shocking facts about our tough job market. Have you experienced something similar?
The government says there are plenty of jobs out there to be had. But the reality is, according to TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady, “there are far more people chasing those jobs.
“That’s why, rather than demonising unemployed people as scroungers, we need to get the economy growing and support them into work.”
Well, out of the 1,701 applicants for a job at a new branch of Costa Coffee, 1,693 still run the risk of being demonised as scroungers – and that’s scary.
Eight vacancies, 1,701 applicants. For jobs paying between £6.10 and £10.00 an hour.
- Graduates unable to find work after leaving uni
- Senior retail managers with over fifteen years’ experience
- Ex-employees from high street chains that have been forced to call in the administrators, like Clinton Cards, Comet, Jessops and HMV
- And, lastly, people who just needed a job.
What’s even more scary is the fact that those eight vacancies were listed on just one single website – oh, and a sign on the building while renovations were going on before the grand opening.
Midlands Manager for Costa, Sham Ramparia, says about the applicants: “Many had a background in retail and some of them were senior retail managers at the likes of Comet and HMV with about 10 to 15 years of experience. Many applicants were hugely over-qualified”.
Very scary indeed.
One of the lucky eight to be accepted was 25-year-old Steven Tomlinson, another victim of their employer going into administration. He’d been working at a smoothie and milkshake bar, and says: “I have always loved coffee, so I thought: why not go for it?”
Another successful applicant, Heather Davies, also 25, says: “I feel incredibly lucky to have been taken on. This is the perfect job for me.”
Very lucky indeed.
Sound scary? Give yourself the best possible chance of employment, in the hands of people who know you can build a future for yourself by building up the right skills. Check out vInspired’s volunteering opportunities, and volunteer your way to the top of the hiring pile.
We’re taking on the 5000 Hour Volunteer Challenge before the end of May, and rewarding participants with juicy prizes.
You can achieve a coveted V10 award, win an iPad mini and iTunes vouchers and help a good cause in just ten hours. You don’t even have to volunteer those ten hours all at once – spread them out across the next two months and be entered into our exclusive prize draw.
Our aim is to get 5000 hours in total logged by vInspired volunteers. We’ve set a goal of motivating young people from all over the UK to pull together and achieve this by volunteering in whatever way they like, and allowing them to reap the benefits.
What is a V10 Award?
Volunteers are awarded a v10 when they have completed ten hours of volunteering. If that’s not enough or if you’ve caught that ever-popular volunteering bug, you can go on to earn your v50 and v100 too!
vInspired awards are nationally recognised, and add a valuable asset to your CV. Handy when the time comes for you to attend job interviews…
How do I earn it?
You can volunteer with absolutely any of our opportunities to be in with winning one of our prizes. Just make sure you keep track of the time you’ve spent helping your cause.
What if I’ve volunteered recently?
You’re still eligible! Just sign up and backlog the hours you worked on a placement within the last year. Couldn’t be easier!
What else could happen in 5000 hours?
When we all pull together, we can achieve tons of great things in 5000 hours. Here’s a few other interesting (though not altogether useful) things you could genuinely do in that time…
- You could walk the Great Wall Of China 1.5 times
- You could go to the moon and back 291 times
- You could hard-boil 42,857 eggs
- Emmanuel Mutai – the record holder for the fastest time to complete the London Marathon – could run his record race 2408 times
- You could watch the Lord Of The Rings trilogy in full 439 times
How will you help us clock up 5000 hours?
March’s Volunteer of the Month has been awarded to Robert Bellis for his work with the Ellesmere Port Sea Cadets as a Sea Cadet Instructor working to train Cadets aged 12 to 18 years old in Maritime Subjects.
Robert has been volunteering for over eight years, achieving his v100 award along the way.
Nominator Arron Ainslie, Officer in Charge, says, “Over the years Robert has taken part in many activities to help those, whom are less fortunate than himself, and has worked countless hours to ensure that his colleagues have the best opportunity. Many of the cadets that Robert trained and still takes the time to train today came from underprivileged families and wouldn’t have had such an opportunity if it wasn’t for his hard work and commitment. Roberts training incorporated team work and leadership, qualities that in the future will help these young people enter the world of work.
Robert’s enthusiasm is clear and he can often be found working to ensure that the cadets get the best opportunities available to them. It is this enthusiasm that is passed onto the young people within our organisation and helps them to progress quickly and with successes. Robert is a role model to the cadets within our organisation whether that be in that he presents himself smartly to the way he conducts himself, he is an excellent role model to young people and I would be most proud if any of them rose to be able to fill his shoes at some point in the future.”
Meet the winner!
When did you start volunteering and why?
Well I turned 18 last July and officially become an adult member of staff. But I have been a cadet for over 8 and half years now. 8 and a half years ago I joined as a junior cadet to develop myself.
What kind of volunteering have you done in the last year?
In the last year I’ve spent 2 nights a weeks at the local Sea Cadet unit. I am now the Training Officer at Ellesmere Port Sea Cadets and I am responsible for all of the in-house training. On Mondays I work with a group of cadets and take them through phase one training, its designed to help the cadets through the ranks by teaching them sea fearing knowledge, leadership, teamwork and community work.
How does it feel to win Volunteer of the Month?
It feels really great to be recognised and the nomination was unexpected.
In what ways do you feel you’ve made a different to others?
I train some of the younger cadets and it is good to see them develop, its great to see a change in them. Their self-confidence grows and they get opportunities they normally wouldn’t get.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering? And how do you feel volunteering has changed you?
Volunteering has changed me, its helped me with my self-confidence.
What do you do outside of volunteering?
I’m at university doing a degree in Nautical Science and I am off to the Merchant Navy as an officer.
If you were Prime Minister for a day, what would be the one thing you would change?
If I was Prime Minister, I would make everyone equal. I feel that’s something that is lacking and would really make a difference.
What would you say to encourage other young people to sign up to vinspired.com?
I think vInspired is good because it is nice to be recognised and it’s great to have something credible on your CV. I have encouraged other cadets to sign up for vInspired and I will continue to.
Want the chance to recommend a friend to Retail Ready People and reap the benefits? Of course you do.
Our second round of RRP will be in Leeds and Rochdale, Greater Manchester and applications are now open.
Retail Ready People is a great way to volunteer, either on your own or with friends. As you will meet the whole team on the residential and work closely with other volunteers at your location, it’s a brilliant opportunity to get to know new people. It’s also perfectly suited to friends who want to take part together.
If you persuade a friend to sign up to RRP before the end of February, we’ll enter you into the draw for £40 worth of high street vouchers (donated by 3Mobile) and two runners up from each location will receive a copy of Dan Thompson’s book, Pop Up Business for Dummies and a vInspired hoodie.
You can refer as many friends as you like, and each application that states your name as the referrer will count as one entry into the prize draw. The more friends you refer, the more chance you have to win!
Remember you must have already applied to be eligible to refer a friend.
Just get your friend to apply to RRP and make sure they mention you!
Need a little more information? Come to our taster days!
If you’ve applied to Retail Ready People, or you are considering applying but aren’t sure yet, these are a great chance to come along and see what Retail Ready People is all about. We’ll be doing lots of hands-on activities and talking a bit about the programme and pop-up shops. Check out our event pages for more information and to RSVP:
Winners will be drawn on Friday 1st March and will be contacted by email. Please read our Terms and Conditions.
Liam O’Dell, a 15 year old enthusiastic volunteer from
Bedford, has achieved his v50 award and has no plans to stop any time soon. Liam started volunteering in early 2012 and has already helped an impressive portfolio of causes.
Nominator Sarah Bigg from Volunteer Centre Bedford says: “Liam has taken part in a variety of volunteering including a farm restoration project, bucket collections for East Anglian Air Ambulance and Sue Ryder and has been a valuable part of a planning team for a Christmas fete for the local Sue Ryder Hospice. Liam shows great dedication and enthusiasm for all his volunteering. His weekends have been filled with bucket collections for local and national organisations. His volunteering is so varied and his passion for giving something back to the community is brilliant.”
Meet the winner!
Tell me a little bit more about the volunteering you have done in the last year?
I started volunteering at the start of 2012. It was through Sarah Bigg, she runs a volunteering project and she came into my school and talked about volunteering and the events that were taking place at the time and how you could get involved and I thought that sound right up my street, really interesting and I thought I would take part.
I have done mostly fundraising for charities, but I have also done some handing out of leaflets, also some more diverse things, like restoration projects and helping out at events and selling merchandise for charities.
How does it feel to win volunteer of the month?
It feels great, it feels nice to know that someone has recognised my efforts and realised my passion for volunteering.
In what ways to do you feel you’ve made a difference to others?
I particularly helped out with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. I made a new friend through the person that organised the events there and he has always explained the task at hand and how much of a benefit volunteers are to East Anglian Air Ambulance. Sue Ryder is another example, they used to hire older volunteers, and now they are hiring younger people and that’s helping them succeed. It’s a great thing to help other people. It’s that great feeling you get when you realised you’ve helped other people and that you’ve done some good and helped people that may need some help in their lives.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering? And how do you feel volunteering has changed you?
I have made some more friends and I have also improved my social skills. I was a bit shy at first, but if I am doing things such as fundraising or handing out leaflets, I’ve got to start to talk to more members of the public and talking to more age ranges. I have to diversify how I speak and establish connections with people.
What do you do outside of volunteering?
I am at upper school. In my spare time I read and volunteer and I also like to write. Of course I have exams taking place but I try to volunteer as much as possible.
What would you say are the 3 best things about volunteering?
1. Making new friends
2. Knowing that you’ve done some good
3. Improving certain skills
What issues do you care about most? If you were Prime Minister for a day, what would be the one thing that you’d change?
I would talk about equality. How everybody regardless of race, gender, etcetera are all treated equally. That there is no prejudice and discrimination, I would aim for that.
How important are the vInspired awards to you? Do you think that achieving the vInspired awards have benefited you in any way?
They are massively important. It is important for employers and your CV and UCAS applications. It’s great to show potential employers that you’ve put in the effort and that you’ve actually helped other people. And the fact that vinspired is nationally recognised.
What would you say to encourage other young people to sign up to vInspired.com?
There are so many benefits and you meet so many new people and you can actually see the good that you’ve done right there. You see if first hand. And the experience is great. vInspired.com is very user friendly and easy to understand and great that you can find opportunities in your area.
January is the time when we clean up our acts and make resolutions. At vInspired HQ there are a few of us swearing off chocolate, a few more off beer and even some brave souls parting with the cash for the dreaded gym membership.
New Year’s Resolutions aren’t all about withholding something from our lives. What about giving something back? Wretch32 and Goldierocks helped out in 2012 by volunteering with us in 4Music’s Taking Care of Christmas series. Fancy doing the same?
We can help!
Pledging to do something as awesome as volunteering in 2013 isn’t just easy to say – it’s easy to do. Use vinspired.com/newyear to search for volunteering opportunities near you. And unlike giving up that daily chocolate fix, it’s easy stay motivated to volunteer. We’ve listed placements that give you vital skills and work experience, so you’re getting out as much as you put in.
Where will you be volunteering in 2013?
Make sure you tell us all about your volunteering. Comment below, find us on Facebook or tweet us using the hashtag #NYvolunteer. It’ll inspire others, and also show your chosen organisation how keen you are to get involved!
The first Retail Ready People (RRP) pop-up shops were open for one month only. November is over, which can mean only two things: that Christmas is nearly here (yay!), and that Make Away and Cosy Cove have closed their doors for good (boo!). The Brighton and Enfield teams created two unique shops to entice customers through the doors. Here’s a little look back at what they did:
The Brighton team created Make Away, where products were screen-printed right in front of you and sold in pizza boxes (get it?!). They used prints by local designers, and also sold artwork and jewellery made locally. Customers also had the option to print their own product.
The Enfield volunteers chose to focus on keeping customers warm and ready for Christmas. They sold clothes, gifts and accessories made in Enfield, supporting local traders and designers. The volunteers brought fresh energy to Enfield, which was affected by the riots last summer. Cosy Cove is a great example of how young people can bring their communities together and tackle negative stereotypes through volunteering.
Why Retail Ready?
The Retail Ready People programme was created as a way to bridge the skills gap for young people hoping to progress in the retail sector. Our RRP volunteers gained experience in all aspects of retail – not just customer service, but buying, merchandising, recruitment, PR, marketing… If it happens in a shop, our volunteers probably experienced it! In doing so, they gained insight into the retail industry that would have otherwise been out of reach, or only available to those with connections or specific (sometimes expensive) qualifications.
Many of the RRP volunteers hope to start their own businesses or gain access to higher level jobs in retail, such as buying. And if they don’t, they’ve gained the right experience to make this decision, and now have transferable skills that will help them, whatever career they choose.
Applications for Round Two!
If you missed out on the last round of pop-ups, all is not lost. We’re running the programme in 10 different locations across the UK over the next two years, so there’s plenty of time to get involved. We’re heading north for the second round. The next two shops will be in Leeds and Rochdale, Greater Manchester. If you’re interested, please visit the Retail Ready People recruitment page to apply, or go straight to our application form!
Our fabulous vInspired volunteers co-star alongside top celebs in the Taking Care Of Christmas mini-series.
We’re nothing if not skilled in the art of persuading people to go and volunteer for all the right reasons, and we were overjoyed that we managed to talk the likes of Lawson, Wretch 32, Goldierocks, Rickie and Melvin and Will Best into volunteering in their local communities this Christmas. Throw in a camera crew, a link up to 4Music, a whole host of delicious competitions and BAM – vInspired volunteers in your living room.
Who’s on when?
The series kicked off with boyband Lawson, who volunteered to entertain the residents of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, followed by rapper Wretch 32 who volunteered to teach the art of music to the kids of Bristol, and presenting duo Rickie and Melvin’s debut as volunteers at Haringey Shed theatre group.
Schedule: (Freeview Channel 18, Sky Channel 360, Virgin Channel 330.)
Monday 10th December
9.10am: 4Music’s Christmas Carol
12.45pm: Wretch 32
4.35pm: Wretch 32
5.55pm: Wretch 32
Tuesday 11th December
12.30pm: Will Best
2.50pm: Will Best
5.55pm: Will Best
Wednesday 12th December
Thursday 13th December
11.50am: Rickie and Melvin
Tuesday 18th December
3.10pm 4Music’s Christmas Carol
All shows will be repeated on the 4Music channel throughout the festive season. Make sure you catch all five shows and find out how our celebrities did good through volunteering.
Watch carefully and win prizes!
There are tons of gifts and prizes to be won through the Taking Care Of Christmas series, so be sure to tune in or watch online to be in with a chance of taking home a truckload of freebies!
4Music are giving away £500 worth of Topshop vouchers to keep you bang on trend over the festive period. All you have to do is find the hidden Festive Fuzzy on their web pages. Keep your peepers peeled…
We’re giving away some loot of our own too! Keep an eye on the vInspired Facebook updates or tweets, answer our questions relating to each show and bag yourself some vInspired merchandise, all packed up nicely in a goody bag for 50 lucky winners.
Let’s kick off with a nice and easy way to win a vInspired goody bag right here: Check out the Taking Care Of Christmas trailer below and email an answer to firstname.lastname@example.org for the following question…
Which animal did Will Best feed during the Taking Care Of Christmas Trailer?
We’re ready for our close-up now!
Taking up a volunteer placement from the palm of your hand just got even easier.
If you’re looking for a volunteer placement, you’re already generously giving up some of your time to help a community. We don’t want to be cheeky by taking you through laborious processes in order to get that placement, and that’s why we’ve been busy behind the scenes upgrading and updating our mobile app.
The brand spanking new version is boasting a handful of new features to help make the signup and management of your placement even easier. Here are four very good reasons to hit the download button:
Wherever you are – on the bus, on a long car journey or simply looking for a little something to keep you busy – get your volunteering prepared on the go with the vInspired app. With our new update, there’s no need to switch back to your computer
Start volunteering instantly
Not only will our app give you access to tons of volunteer opportunities across lots of different sectors (you’re bound to find something you’d like to be a part of) but you can perfect every part of your profile there and then, giving you the quickest possible response time
Record your volunteer hours
Work towards vInspired awards by clocking up your hours on the go. You’ll have your 10, 50 and 100 hours of volunteering service under your belt in no time. By keeping a tab on the volunteer hours you’ve recorded on the app to instantly update your log, not a minute of work is forgotten and every entry brings you a step closer to your v10, v50 or v100 award.
Share the news!
Share your work with others directly from the app. After all, what’s the point in having a Facebook account if you aren’t sharing all the great work you’ve been doing with us?
Think of our vInspired app as the volunteer bible tucked safely away in the depths of your iPhone. Just beyond the Angry Birds app, obviously.