Events held in 2016

Volunteer Christmas lunch

We held our annual Christmas thank-you lunch on Friday 2 December in the Council Chamber of Thornbury Town Hall.

Fifty volunteers and representatives from volunteer-involving organisations attended and were treated to a delicious buffet lunch supplied by volunteers of Thornbury Volunteer Centre.

Bob Griffin speaking at the Christmas lunch
Deputy Mayor Cllr Bob Griffin speaking at the lunch

Deputy Mayor Cllr Bob Griffin attended and thanked those present for their commitment in ensuring that Thornbury remains a healthy and vibrant community. He then presented the Alan Hudson Award to this year’s winner, JIGSAW, and drew the winners of our raffle.

Thanks go to Costa Thornbury for the donation of a lovely raffle prize.

Pop-up Shop

We started our summer events with a pop-up shop at 1a St Mary Street, Thornbury, held to coincide with National Volunteer’s Week 1–12 June. The aim of the shop was to raise the profile of the Volunteer Centre and volunteering locally whilst also raising funds for the Centre.

The shop sold a wide variety of quality donated goods, which included a full-size football table and furniture. It featured a small 1940’s themed Tea Shop serving tea and cakes.

Customers at the pop-up shop

The week was a tremendous success on all fronts. We helped 12 potential new volunteers, several of whom have already begun volunteering. We also gained two new voluntary organisations. And the shop raised much needed funds.

After the shop finally closed, we distributed the remaining items to the other local charity shops in the town.

Our thanks go to everyone who donated their time and goods to the shop and to all of the people who visited the shop, bought goods, entered the raffle or offered to donate their time. We also thank the team at the St Mary Centre for their help and support with the shop.

Volunteer Fair

We hosted our annual Volunteer Fair on 7 July. In a break from tradition the Fair was held in the pop-up shop, which meant that we weren’t subject to the vagaries of the British weather. Fifteen local community and voluntary organisations attended to raise awareness of their organisations, to fundraise and to promote their volunteering opportunities.

The new Thornbury Town Mayor Cllr Helen Harrison attended the fair and spoke to all the stallholders, including here volunteers from the Red Cross.

It was an enjoyable event which has again helped to raise awareness of volunteering locally, recruited volunteers and provided much needed funds for the organisations involved.

Annual General Meeting

Our 2016 annual general meeting took place in our pop-up shop in the St Mary Centre on 14 June. After the official business was completed, Professor Jane Gilliard, a Dementia Friends Champion, presented an excellent, informative and thought-provoking session on how we can encourage others to make a positive difference to people living with dementia in our communities.

Fun and profit at the Swan

The Swan Inn

Sandra Davies of the Swan Inn, Thornbury, runs a wonderful scheme by which every month a local charity benefits from the entry fees and raffle profit collected on the regular Wednesday quiz nights. We were lucky enough to be chosen as the charity to benefit during May.

We entered several teams ourselves, with mixed success. But the proceeds more than balanced any sadness at our relative lack of question-answering prowess: £520.98, a substantial and much-needed boost to our funds. Many thanks to Sandra for her continuing and greatly appreciated support for Thornbury charities.

Successful Students shine brightly

Students from Castle School Sixth Form celebrated their remarkable volunteering achievements on 20 April with an award ceremony in the Sixth Form Hall. Around 50 sixth formers who took part in Castle School’s volunteering programme Castle in the Community, or acted as peer mentors for their classmates, were rewarded for their contribution.

The students, teachers, and volunteer organisations.
The students, with the mayor, teachers and members of local volunteer organisations.

Certificates were presented by Cllr Guy Rawlinson, Thornbury Town Mayor, who thanked the students for their valuable contributions. Mr Peter Smart, Head of Castle School, said that the students had made a difference to the lives of other people and the school was proud of their achievements. Kevin Simpson of Thornbury Lions Club — which sponsored this year’s ceremony — then said a few words about the work and ethos of the Lions.

The students had been placed in nine local voluntary and community groups in the Thornbury area; their placements included gardening, marketing, charity shop work, befriending older people, supporting children with special educational needs and fundraising.

Castle in the Community has just completed its fifth year in partnership with us; preparations for next year’s scheme will get underway soon. To get involved, please contact us.

Mental Health Workshop

On 23 March we held a bite-sized course, Promoting Positive Mental Health, run by experienced mental-health and social-care trainer Suzanne Pearson.

Her ninety-minute introduction to mental health awareness covered ways to build resilience and wellbeing into our personal lives and in our work roles. She also discussed local mental-health wellbeing services and how to access them.

Suzanne Pearson

The workshop was attended by members of the public, volunteers and professionals who found it interesting and worthwhile.

Business lunch

We held our annual business lunch on 30 March. This was aimed at helping businesses find ways to engage with their local community through volunteering.

Guest speakers representing the Office for Civil Society Local (SW), CVS South Gloucestershire, Involve Swindon, Europa Group Ltd and Essilor Ltd spoke about the Local Skills Exchange Project, the first South Glos Challenge, explained how a network of companies, statutory bodies and voluntary organisations are working together to encourage employees to give their time and develop their skills through volunteering in the local community, and how two local employers are helping the Thornbury community.

Business lunch participants
Participants discussing the South Glos Challenge.

Representatives from businesses, including the John Lewis Partnership, TSB Bank, Four Pillars and WPA Healthcare, enjoyed a thought-provoking, interesting and informative lunch and many are keen to continue discussing the topics at future forums. “It was the best event of its type that I have ever attended” was a comment which we welcomed. If you were unable to attend the lunch but would like to find out more please contact us.

News & information

Experiences: Michele tells how a local company restored her confidence and helped her back into work.

Volunteering opportunities. Most of our many volunteering opportunities are advertised nationally and can be searched online here. Some are advertised locally only and are listed here.

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Thornbury Volunteer Centre is a registered charity, number 1004285. This site © Thornbury Volunteer Centre. Site design by Michael Quinion. Last updated 8 Dec. 2016.