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Precious Time: information for volunteers

Discover the benefits of becoming a volunteer and offering your precious time to make a big difference to another person’s life. The gift of time is important to everyone and a small amount of time goes a long way when volunteering. You will keep an active mind and body, make new friends, share your experiences and discover new skills.

If you live in South Gloucestershire, whatever your age you can volunteer with local organisations that are working to reduce loneliness. You could also start an activity or group in your local community.

If you can spare a small amount of time each week, you could make a huge difference to someone’s life and help them to play an active part in their community, share news and views and keep positive and healthy.

There is a range of volunteering opportunities for all ages, whatever your background, skills or experience.

A marketplace of clubs, volunteering opportunities and hobbies to inspire you.

Watch our short video about volunteering for inspiration and see how it can really make a difference.

For more details on volunteering visit the South Gloucestershire Volunteer Centre Partnership or call 01454 865205.

Setting up an activity or group

You may have recognised an opportunity in your local area, and have the skills and energy to do something about it.  If you would like some advice about how to go about it, please contact the volunteer centres listed below. You can also contact the following organisations who have development workers who can support you:

CVS South Gloucestershire, covering the Yate area: 01454 865205 or info@cvs-sg.org.uk

Southern Brooks, covering Filton, Patchway, Thornbury and the Stokes: 01454 868570 or office@southernbrooks.org.uk

Chase and Kings Forest Community Project, covering Kingswood: 0117 960 4186 or info@chasekingsforestcp.org.uk

In the Case Studies section, you might also want to read about a couple of local schemes that have got up and running, the Thornbury Memory Café and the Pucklechurch Good Neighbours Scheme – these are just two examples of the fantastic work going on across South Gloucestershire.

Joining an established organisation or group

The following organisations work to reduce isolation with older people and all welcome, value and support volunteers.

    • Age UK – volunteers work one to one with older people in a befriending role, or to support the person to become more active in local groups and activities. Volunteers are also welcome to support people with benefits applications.
    • Contact the Elderly – volunteers pick up elderly people once a month to take them to a Sunday tea party at a host’s house. Volunteers are sought for hosting or driving or both.
    • Good Neighbours Schemes – local residents have set up a number of Good Neighbour Schemes to support older people locally. The sort of tasks the schemes offer are lifts to appointments, shopping, prescription collection and help with forms.  There are local schemes in Pucklechurch, Emersons Green and Mangotsfield and a new scheme starting in Frampton Cotterrell.  Volunteers are welcome, or why not set a scheme up in your own area?
    • Merlin Housing Society – There are opportunities for volunteers to work with older people living in their sheltered housing schemes – from tea makers to organised planners to IT experts. All skills and talents are welcomed.
    • Patchway Older People’s Project (POP) – Southern Brooks Community Partnership need volunteers to carry out a range of tasks in the local area to support groups and older people directly.
    • Retired Senior Volunteer Programme (RSVP) – RSVP run volunteering schemes for volunteers aged 50 and over based in GP practices and run outreach projects to people living in residential care.
    • RNIB – you may have a special interest in sight loss, or may have supported friends or relatives with sight loss. The RNIB provides a volunteer befriending service for people with sight loss, where you will be offering regular support to an older person.
    • West of England Centre for Inclusive Living (WECIL) – WECIL is a not for profit organisation run by and for disabled people. The peer Support Project, funded through the Big Lottery, runs a range of social events and activities open to anyone who sees themselves as a disabled adult. Volunteers are around to chat to or to lend a hand and entry fees, refreshments and, where possible, transport will also be provided.  For more information please contact Anna Wheeler or Suewan Kemp on 0117 9617721.
    • The British Red Cross have a range of volunteering opportunities such as the Home From Hospital Scheme, and the Therapy to Care Scheme.
    • The Bristol Area Stroke Foundation offer a range of opportunities for volunteers to support stroke survivors and their carers.
    • North Bristol NHS Trust are looking for volunteers for 2-3 hours a week to help out at Frenchay and Southmead Hospitals in a variety of roles.
    • The South Gloucestershire Library Service has three areas of work in which they welcome volunteers:
      • Delivering library books to older readers living in care homes, sheltered housing or their own home, so they can continue their love of books and offer them the stimulation of reading,
      • Supporting less confident computer users,
      • Summer holiday work with 4 – 12 year olds.
    • Please contact your local Library
    • Downend Connect – A project to map what happens in the local area and let older people know of the groups and activities they can take part in. The project is also looking for residents who are interested in getting local projects off the ground.  Call 01454 862356 for further details.
    • Thornbury time bank –  For every hour participants ‘deposit’ in a Timebank, perhaps by giving practical help and support to others, they are able to ‘withdraw’ equivalent support in time when they themselves are in need. In each case the participant decides what they can offer. Everyone’s time is equal, so one hour of my time is equal to one hour of your time, irrespective of whatever we choose to exchange. The Thornbury Timebank is in the early stages of development, and the organisers would love to hear from anyone who is interested in joining the Time Bank.

Volunteer Centres

If you are looking for something different, please contact one of the South Gloucestershire’s Volunteer Centres.  They can talk through what you are looking for and suggest opportunities in the local area.

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