Cymdeithas
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Gwirfoddol
Ceredigion
Ceredigion Association of Voluntary Organisations
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Youth Led Grants Now Open

Are you part of a youth group?

Are you looking to start up a new project or have a new idea?

If you have a project led by young people aged 14-25, or if you would like to start a new youth led project, then apply today!

Each group can apply for a maximum of £1000, and the funding will be allocated by Ceredigion’s Youth Led Panel. The panel will be looking for ideas that benefit young people and the community.

For more information check our website, call CAVO on 01570 423 232 or send us an email gen@cavo.org.uk

 

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Borth Family Centre – looking for garden volunteers

We are looking for a group of volunteers who would like to help out and give our garden some TLC! It is a great space and we use it across the year to run outdoor activities. However it does get rather neglected in terms of keeping it in shape. As Borth Family Centre we love to continue to make links with the local community so we thought someone or a group might be interested to help us. What you get in return is some lovely outdoor space that benefits physical, mental and social well being, helping the community, being part of a wider social network whilst having a friendly cuppa with us when our kitchen is open.

If you are interested or would like to know more please contact :

rachel@borthfamilycentre.co.uk

07483 356503

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‘A national milestone about volunteering must be developed’

Our response to Welsh Government’s consultation, Measuring a Nation’s Progress.

Welsh Government recently consulted on which of the 42 national indicators should have milestones developed against them to assist Ministers in assessing Wales’ progress against the seven wellbeing goals.

The indicator ‘percentage of people who volunteer’ is not currently set to have a milestone developed. In our response, we have said that it should. It fits Welsh Government’s criteria around milestone development, which are:

  • Achieving this milestone will have a generational effect by preventing poor outcomes that would have a knock-on effect for future generations
  • Capable of being influenced significantly by our devolved government
  • Achieving this milestone will unlock progress in a range of areas
  • Will require action by a number of partners

We have also expressed concern that not developing a milestone around volunteering may, consciously or unconsciously, lead Welsh Government and other decision-makers to deprioritise the third sector when it comes to investment.

We have also suggested that the indicator around percentage of people in employment should be tweaked to ‘percentage of people in employment and paid at the Real Living Wage’.

Read the full response for more detail.

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Turning experience into employment

One of the many benefits of volunteering is that it is great activity through which to learn and develop personal and professional skills, such as confidence, the ability to work as a team, or how to deal with challenging situations. Such skills, and the valuable experience that volunteering brings, can be helpful in gaining employment, for the first time, or in changing careers or in preparing for college or university.

We know that many people choose volunteering to purposefully assist them on their path to employment or education, particularly young people, who may get involved in volunteering to help them learn about the world of work or find out more about a career path.

However, the act of volunteering is one thing, turning this into employment related experience or a personal statement for a UCAS form is another.

To help volunteers of all ages to do this, we worked with WCIA to develop a simple presentation and infographic that could be used to help volunteers understand what they have gained from volunteering and turn it into language that could be used on a CV, in a personal statement or in an interview.

This resource is now available here as an infographic and presentation.

The resource can be used by volunteers themselves or used as a tool by someone that supports volunteers in most settings.

WCVA welcomes feedback on their tools and resources, so please get in touch to let us know if this works for you or your volunteers or if you think improvements could be made.

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Supporting Volunteers who have Additional Learning Needs

A new information sheet has been produced to provide guidance on how to support volunteers with additional learning needs.

Volunteering can be rewarding and valuable experience for individuals with Additional Learning Needs (ALN), it can be beneficial to the health and wellbeing of an individual, can provide structure and a feeling of ‘worth’ for those who have not had many positive experiences in their lives.

Supporting Volunteers who have Additional Learning Needs explains ‘Additional Learning Needs’ and the issues people with ALN may experience.

The information sheet has been designed to give advice on good practice with top tips for supporting people with ALN together with a list of organisations who provide further information and support.

The complete list of information sheets can been seen here.

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Employers Encouraging Volunteering

Just because you have a full time job it doesn’t mean that you don’t have time to volunteer. You can volunteer in the evenings, on weekends or even give a week during your annual leave. But there are some companies that are encouraged to give their staff extra time off specifically to volunteer. Network Rail is one of the biggest companies that do this, and we wanted to know why.



Network Rail owns, operates and develops Britain’s railway infrastructure. Wales and Borders is one of eight areas of the rail network in Britain, with nearly 1,700 staff based in the area, and a headquarters in Cardiff.

They actively encourage their staff to volunteer, facilitated by BITC (Business in the Community Cymru). BITC works with businesses of all sizes and wants every business in Wales to behave responsibly and make a real difference to the people, economy and environment of Wales. We talked to Tracy Dickinson, head of human resources for Network Rail in Wales and Borders, to find out more.

Why encourage your staff to volunteer?
Volunteering is a powerful way to invest in local communities while supporting our employees’ personal development. It’s also a great way for people to acquire new skills and experience, and develop invaluable life skills.

We provide every employee with five days volunteer leave per year.

Are you keen that younger members of the staff get the chance to volunteer?
Yes we are. It’s an opportunity to get to know their local community and learn some new skills.

Olivia and Steffan
Network Rail staff Olivia Jones and Steffan Jones recently volunteered on a decorating project at the SHARE centre in Newport, which helps vulnerable and disadvantaged local communities.

‘We redecorated 3 rooms in the centre which really helped to freshen up the space that is used on a daily basis, and gave the community a nice environment to learn and also work in,’ explains Olivia.

‘The centre explained that they don’t receive a lot of funding for redecorating the rooms, and therefore really appreciated our input and hard work. We also raised enough money to buy stationary supplies for the centre, and had 2 large whiteboards donated from one of the Network Rail depots, which will help with the educational classes that take place.’

Steffan helped with planning the decorating project, going on scoping visits, completing risk assessments and calculating the materials needed. He is keen to volunteer again and will soon be taking part in a beach clean day.

Does volunteering make someone more employable?
We wanted to know if Olivia and Steffan thought that volunteering was something that would make an impression on future employers.

Olivia believes that it’s a big advantage.
‘I think volunteering definitely helps make you more employable as you learn valuable team building skills. We only had one day to complete the decorating so it was important to work together and communicate in order to get it completed in time,’ she says.

‘I also think that volunteering gives you an appreciation for the different types of work environments that exist, and allows you to see the variety of different workplaces that are available to you,’ adds Olivia.

And Steffan agrees.
‘It shows a drive to do something worthwhile, develop skills like teamwork, planning, communication, leadership etc. and shows that you are a rounded individual.

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Are you committed to Youth Volunteering and Social Action?

We’ve just launched a brand-new charter to champion good practice in youth volunteering and social action in Wales!

The Youth Volunteering and Social Action Charter sets out a number of commitments encouraging organisations to provide the best possible social action and volunteering experiences for young people. The charter also outlines expectations for young people that take part in these experiences.

How the charter was created
The charter was developed by The Welsh Centre for International Affairs on behalf of WCVA for the third sector in Wales. It has been developed based on insight gathered from young people and youth volunteering stakeholders in Wales.

The charter builds on the nine key principles of the former Millennium Volunteer initiative, which recognised and rewarded youth volunteering, and the six principles of the UK wide #iwill campaign for youth social action.

What is the charter for?
This set of principles is intended to help improve the practice of organisations that already involve young people in social action or volunteering, and those that are working towards improving the diversity of their organisation by involving younger people.

The Charter also provides a helpful guide to what organisations can reasonably expect from the young people that get involved.

It is anticipated that organisations that agree to embed the charter’s commitments will use the charter to demonstrate to current and prospective young people that they are champions of positive practice in their approach to youth social action and volunteering.

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WCVA Chief Executive, Ruth Marks:
‘Energy, enthusiasm and commitment are always present when young people volunteer – this Charter makes some great commitments and I hope it will encourage more social action.’

Gillian Smith, Deputy Chief Executive of Step Up To Serve:
‘This Youth Volunteering and Social Action Charter will help young people to identify the organisations across Wales that offer great opportunities and place young people at the heart of their decision making.

‘The #iwill campaign is proud to see so many high-quality opportunities for young people in Wales and a steady growth year on year.  We are delighted during #iwill Week, to be able to celebrate the work done with young people, by WCVA and their partners, to develop this charter.’

To download your copy of the Charter please click here 

To receive a hard copy of the Charter to display please contact volunteering@wcva.org.uk

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