Ceredigion Association of Voluntary Organisations


Ceredigion Volunteer Organisers Network

Do you manage Volunteers?
This network offers:
 Opportunities to share experiences
 Informal peer support
 A way to express your views
 Opportunity to share best practice
 Opportunities to take part in volunteer recruitment events
 Updates in current regulations and legislation

Room Six, Canolfan Rheidol, Ceredigion County Council, Aberystwyth.
Tuesday 11 June 2019,

Topic– Volunteer induction and training

For further details or to confirm your attendance contact Trish Lewis on 01570 424 524 or


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



Let’s celebrate Volunteers’ Week 2019

2019 logo

Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of volunteers that takes place every year in June and is a perfect time to say ‘thank you’ to your volunteers.

With this year theme ‘Time to celebrate‘ there will be parties, award events and outings, recruitment fayres and exhibitions taking place throughout the UK to recruit, reward and recognise volunteers.

Reasons to celebrate
A recent survey of volunteers’ experience reminds us that volunteers both give and also gain much through their volunteering – and that there is much to celebrate!

Time Well Spent is a national survey, published by NCVO in January 2019. Seven in 10 people surveyed have volunteered at some point in their lives. Those aged 65 and over are the age group most likely to have volunteered recently and those between 25-34 years are least likely.

The findings highlighted a spectrum of engagement with volunteering: some are committed on a weekly basis whilst for others it is something they dip in and out of occasionally.

What happens in Wales?
WCVA produced a series of case studies last year entitled ‘Recipes for a successful Volunteers’ Week’ to demonstrate how groups in Wales have celebrated Volunteers’ Week.

For example, ‘Undercover Boss’, tells how Health Board Executive Directors went ‘undercover’, shadowing health board volunteers and providing an opportunity to the Executive Team to directly say thank you to volunteers.

Community and Voluntary Support Conwy held a volunteer celebration event to raise awareness of the diverse volunteering carried out in Conwy while Swansea Volunteering Forum held an event to focus on improving the health and wellbeing of volunteers and volunteer managers. 

To find out more on these and other events, visit Recipes for a successful Volunteers’ Week.

Volunteers’ Week comms pack
WCVA have put together a bilingual comms pack to help you promote your activities which includes tweets; Volunteers’ Week logo (in jpeg and eps formats) to add to your publicity material; individual volunteer and group certificates; a ‘thank you’ event A3 poster; a check list and much more. All resources can be found here.

You can add details to promote your event or find out what’s happening near you by selecting this link.

For more information please visit


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 :

07483 356503


‘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.


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.


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.


Celebrating St David’s Day: Menter a Busnes gives a helping hand in the community

In order to celebrate St David’s Day on March 1st, Menter a Busnes staff volunteered their time in their local communities and for local charities. The aim of the volunteering day was to give something back to our communities across Wales, and to celebrate the ‘little things’ that are done each day by communities and charities across the country.

Speaking of the decision to hold a volunteering day to celebrate St David’s Day, Alun Jones, Menter a Busnes’ Chief Executive said: “This is the first time we have done this and the idea gained a lot of support amongst our staff. The volunteering hours given by the staff equated to 35 working days, and over £740.00 was raised in aid of Marie Curie.”

Here is a taste of some of the day’s activities:

  • A visit to social enterprise, Antur Waunfawr, Gwynedd, to learn more about the work they do in the community and in providing training and employment opportunities for people with learning difficulties in their area. Staff visited 4 Antur sites including Beics Antur, the main site ‘Bryn Pistyll’ in Waunfawr where there is a cafe, shop and footpaths open to the public, Warws Werdd and the Caergylchu recycling facility at the Cibyn Industrial Estate to learn more about recycling items, clothes and household furniture.
  • Beach clean at Rhosneigr, Anglesey, and Borth, Ceredigion, and litter picking around Llyn Tegid, Llangernyw and Llanfair TH communities in Conwy, and Cardiff Bay
  • Giving blood
  • Helping carers at Canolfan Steffan, Lampeter
  • Painting at Peniel Community Primary School, Carmarthenshire
  • A visit to a care home in Tregaron, Ceredigion
  • Clearing public footpaths outside Machynlleth Rugby Club, Powys
  • A few staff members collected money in aid of ‘Marie Curie’ at Morrisons supermarket in Aberystwyth, raising an amazing £741.84

Alun Jones added: “The activities completed were very varied. I would definitely encourage businesses to offer volunteering opportunities to their staff where practical, as all the staff at Menter a Busnes who took part have felt great satisfaction in being able to make a small contribution to their communities.”


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.