News and forthcoming events
Help raise funds through AmazonSmile
The AmazonSmile scheme supports charitable organisations by donating a proportion of the value of sales. Everyone who buys from Amazon and wants to support us can join the scheme by choosing us.
All you have to do is visit the signup page. You will be asked to log in to the Amazon site if you aren’t already. Then all you have to do is click on the button labelled Start Shopping.
After that you can shop the Amazon site as normal. Products, prices and shopping features are exactly the same as before. The one change is that part of the value of your purchases (excluding VAT, returns and delivery) is passed to us as a donation. Amazon doesn’t take any commission.
Every time you visit Amazon after signing up, use smile.amazon.co.uk instead of the old address (don’t forget to bookmark it in your browser). You will know you’re in the scheme because a little notice appears under the search bar near the top of the screen.
Volunteer Organiser Forum
This meeting will be valuable for anyone who coordinates volunteers in South Gloucestershire. You will meet other local groups working with teams of volunteers. You will have the opportunity to share best practice and to discuss and derive solutions to current volunteering issues.
The speakers will be Ternaya Cummings from the Southern Brooks Community Partnership, speaking on safeguarding and volunteers; Michelle Dent from Age UK South Gloucestershire who will describe examples of safeguarding; and Tara-Louise Jordan from CVS South Gloucestershire, who will outline CVS services.
The forum is to be held at Turnberries (Thornbury, BS35 2BB) on Wednesday 3 October between 10.30 AM and 1.00 PM. A simple lunch is included.
To book call 01454 413392 or use our contact form.
Volunteer Managers’ Network Meeting
This meeting is open to all volunteer managers working in South Gloucestershire. Meetings are friendly and informal gatherings where managers can share ideas and expertise and discuss any issues or concerns.
Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday 21 November at 10am at the offices of Jigsaw Thornbury, The Bakery Annexe, 4-7 Chapel Street, Thornbury, BS35 2AW.
This meeting will be focussing on the retention and training of volunteers. Attendees are invited to bring along details of how they recruit volunteers, what training they offer together with details of staff and volunteer ratios.
Please contact Kim Webb if you wish to attend.
About our newest trustee
Allan Taylor joined the Management Committee of Thornbury Volunteer Centre in April this year. He has a wealth of volunteering experience which will be a great asset to the Centre.
Allan loves his cricket and besides playing for the club for some thirty years, has served as Chair, Captain, Treasurer and Secretary of Thornbury Cricket Club before continuing his involvement in the game as a member of the West of England Premier League Cricket Board and Chair of their Disciplinary and Standards Committee.
He was a member of the Independent Monitoring Board at HMP Leyhill for twelve years and Chair for the last three. He is also an active member and a past President of Thornbury Rotary Club and serves his local community as a Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator.
Allan likes a challenge and he will be an excellent addition to our team.
AGM and networking event
On Wednesday 18 July we hosted our AGM at Christ the King RC Church, Thornbury. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and our volunteers and guests were able to take advantage of the lovely gardens. We were joined by guest speaker Jerry Dicker who gave a interesting, interactive and entertaining talk about his volunteering at Filnore Woods. Jerry brought along a large sapling and fascinated his audience by demonstrating on it some of the tools they use to maintain the Woods.
Once the official AGM business was over we hosted a summer networking afternoon tea for the volunteers of Thornbury & District to say thank-you for their hard work and commitment over the previous year. The event also gave them the opportunity to meet and network with other volunteers and share experiences. Guests enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea of scones, strawberries & cream and cakes; music was performed by the Wriggle Jigglers, a folk band made up of local young people.
This event was one of a series to celebrate Thornbury Volunteer Centre’s 30th anniversary year.
Popular pop-up shop!
Our pop-up shop has just popped down again after a very successful eight-week tenure of 11 St Mary Way.
The shop sold an extensive range of second-hand items ranging from clothing to bedding, toys to books, bric-a-brac and even a cross-trainer! All items were donated by family and friends and, once the shop was open, from members of the public. It was lovely to welcome customers from previous years and to hear the favourable comments on what was essentially a “jumble sale in a shop”. The shop raised a very good amount for us and will enable us to continue our work for the foreseeable future.
Additionally, and probably even more importantly, the shop allowed us to bring volunteering into the centre and raised the profile of the Centre enormously. So far, as a direct response to the shop, 29 new volunteers have registered with us as looking for voluntary work, four organisations new to the Volunteer Centre registered five new voluntary opportunities and four people have booked on the Personal Resilience and Stress Management course which was advertised in the shop window.
We would like to thank everyone, from volunteers who helped set up, take down and serve in the shop, those who donated items for sale, to all of our customers — we hope you enjoyed us being there as much as we did — and finally to the wonderful St Mary Centre team for their help and support.
We look forward to seeing you all again next year.
Data protection changes
£2000 from Tesco’s community grant scheme funds local projects
We’re delighted to announce that we have been awarded £2000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help community grant scheme.
Bags of Help is run in partnership with the environmental charity Groundwork. Grants raised from the sale of carrier bags are awarded to thousands of local community projects every year. Since launching in 2015, the scheme has provided over £43 million to more than 10,000 local community projects.
To recognise our 30th anniversary this year we will be hosting four events aimed at encouraging new people to volunteer, whilst acknowledging the valuable contribution made to the local community by our existing volunteers.
We shall organise and host:
- A “Building confidence” workshop to support potential new volunteers.
- A series of taster sessions at local voluntary and community organisations, designed to give potential volunteers a flavour of the type of volunteering opportunities available in their local area.
- A networking event for volunteer-involving organisations and volunteers.
- An Award ceremony and networking event at the end of the year aimed at showcasing the work of our community’s unsung heroes.
Kim Webb, our development co-ordinator, is naturally delighted with the result. “This is such good news for us and the community. As a very small local charity dedicated to promoting the benefits of volunteering to a wider audience we are always looking for ways to raise awareness in the local community and this grant will help us enormously.”
Alec Brown, Tesco’s Head of Community, said: “Bags of Help has been a fantastic success and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from customers. It’s such a special scheme because it’s local people who decide how the money will be spent in their community. We can’t wait to see the projects come to life.”
Personal Resilience and Stress Management Workshop
On Wednesday 31 January 2018 we hosted a workshop on Personal Resilience and Stress Management. It was delivered by trainer Claire Greenwood of Broadleaf Training & Development.
The session looked at what personal resilience means, identified factors which support or weaken resilience and then demonstrated some techniques to help manage stress and support resilience.
The session was a good mix of discussion, dialogue and activities, looking at why some people appear more resilient than others, what causes stress, cognitive behavioural therapy, using the resilience prescription and ending with a session on mindfulness.
The session was well attended and everyone left feeling better able to cope with everyday challenges.
General Data Protection Regulation
Thornbury Town Mayor Helen Harrison and Thornbury Volunteer Centre hosted two workshops in February to tell local voluntary and community groups about the changes in the laws surrounding data protection which come in to force in May this year.
Thanks to a very generous offer from Brightman UK they secured free information sessions that explained in more detail just what organisations needed to do to comply with the new laws.
Both sessions were very well attended with representatives from more than 30 organisations. Follow up one-to-one sessions are being planned for March and April.
Our thanks to the Ship Inn, Alveston, for their generous use of the room and the refreshments.
Swan Quiz Nights
Thanks to the generosity of Sandra Davies we benefited from the Wednesday evening quizzes at the Swan Inn in Thornbury during April. The sessions raised more than £400, which we shall be putting back into the community by our efforts to support local people to volunteer.
News & information
Help raise funds through AmazonSmile If you shop at Amazon we are donated funds. More information.
Volunteer Organiser Forum. To be held on 3 October to bring together local coordinators of volunteers to discuss issues and solutions. More here.
Volunteer Managers’ Network Meeting The next meeting is on 21 November , focussing on the retention and training of volunteers. More details.