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Volunteering News

Using the Volunteering Wales website – webinar

A series of webinars has been scheduled throughout the year to provide training and support for those who are using the Volunteering Wales volunteering platform.

The next webinar is  on January 23rd  2 – 3pm,  so if you are using the website www.volunteering-wales.net  and would like a chance to  hear  about some of the features of the system and to put your questions, then its time to book  your place .

If you would like to suggest any particular aspects  or questions that you would like to see covered in the webinar please let us know fliddell@wcva.org.uk .

Some of the sources of help available with using the website are described in a blog post   Need help with volunteering-wales.net.

We carried out a user survey in August/September and since then many of the issues raised have been included in latest developments to the system. A new release is expected in the next couple of weeks which includes notable improvements to the search function and to the management of volunteers  ‘Applying’ for opportunities .

You can read about the latest update in Team Kinetics blog.

Watch out for the next WCVA blog in January in which we will highlight some of the feedback from our user survey and some recent developments which address  issues that were raised.

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Volunteer story:Change Step

Hi. My name is Jason and I am a veteran from Wrexham, North Wales. I served with the Royal Army Medical Corps and saw action in the first Gulf War. Due to this action I went on to suffer from PTSD. For years I struggled to get help and I used to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs. My life was going nowhere and I went from job to job not caring about anything. That all changed when I was introduced to Change Step.

Jason1

Change Step is a peer mentoring service for military veterans who suffer with PTSD. The mentors are all veterans themselves and to me this is the reason why Change Step works so well.

I have been volunteering with Change Step now for 12 months and the change in me is amazing. The work they do is second to none in my opinion and I don’t know what I would be doing now without them.

Jason2

The Change Step peer mentors can help with signposting to different agencies and services, such as counselling, benefit agencies and substance misuse services. They can also find and offer training courses suitable to the individual. On top of that, they are there to offer support in any way they can. The mentors themselves have been through similar experiences to me  –  it was so easy to relate and get along with them, as you felt that they knew exactly what you had been through, and that they had come through the other end.

Change Step often organises volunteer events in the local community. In the past we have helped tidy-up war memorials for Remembrance Sunday. This gave me an immense sense of pride and it was a good feeling doing something for the community. This year we are aiming to tidy-up 700 of the 2,000 war graves across North Wales. Again, this gives me and the other volunteers a great sense of pride. We have also worked alongside the Costal Rangers tidying up coastal paths, planting trees and clearing overgrown areas. These volunteer days not only benefit the community, but they are also good fun. The volunteering is therapeutic and working as a team is really good for people’s morale. I have seen great changes in veterans who join Change Step, even after just a few weeks with us, and these volunteer days fill them with a sense of pride and raise their self-esteem. For some of them, it’s the first time they will have socialised with others for a long time.

Twelve months ago I had no lust for life, no goals and no real interest in myself. I didn’t socialise and did not like going out in public because of my PTSD . The counselling they offered was superb and I can now leave the house without the feelings I used to get. Since being part of Change Step I have been on numerous courses, countless volunteer days and I, and others around me, have noticed a great change in me. This change would not have happened if it wasn’t for Change Step and I am so grateful.

www.changestepwales.co.uk

CHANGE Step

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Investing in Volunteers

  Investing In Volunteers            Investing in Volunteers is the UK quality standard for volunteer management. If your organisation involves volunteers, achieving the Investing in Volunteers standard will enable it to make the best use of your valuable people resource. Continue reading

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