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Volunteer Capacity Building Service (VCBS)

VCBS is a new service that began in August 2011 which has been commissioned by Pendle Children and Young People's Trust to encourage local people to give their time to support children, young people and their families in Pendle.

The VCBS is being run by local charitable organisation Calico Enterprise in partnership with Help Direct.

Volunteers are being recruited, trained and deployed from across Pendle into partner organisations and agencies to offer Early Support. This is performing low level support that enables frontline workers and professionals to concentrate on higher level support.

Local people and organisations from Pendle are being encouraged to get involved with the project by volunteering and building/maintaining important working partnerships. By currently working with: Secondary schools, Primary schools, School Attendance Officers and Children's centres to name a few, the VCBS team can offer a good variety of early support volunteer opportunities. Opportunities for volunteers are varied and include:

  • supporting young people through structured programmes
  • providing language skills to communities where English is not their first language
  • organising a parents' group
  • sourcing activities and services for families

"Early Support Volunteering is proving a great way of people getting work experience for a CV, being closely involved with an agency to enhance skills and knowledge, or simply doing some good in their local community". The VCBS induction process and training program includes confidentiality, boundaries and Trust priorities and is accessed by all volunteers so relevant experience is not essential.

What worked well...

  • We are developing a partner network in Pendle that has been well received. The partnerships are working in different ways whether it is recruiting for or from the agency/organisation. All partners we are recruiting for have submitted expressions of interest that fit the Early Support generic role description. As we have 21 key partner opportunities there is plenty of choice for Early Support volunteers.
  • VCBS Pendle Priorities training has been very popular with volunteers and is currently running for the second time. The program will run twice more before the end of July. This training has predominantly involved local agencies delivering quality awareness and training sessions that link into key priorities for Pendle such as domestic violence, infant mortality etc
  • We have negotiated a volunteer database for VCBS that volunteers will be able to access to update their profile and can be used to share availability, skills and experience of volunteers between key partners.

Result!

  • Fifteen active volunteers through placements
  • Weekly volunteer hours currently: 80 hours
  • 29 volunteers that are being matched and placed across all our partners in Pendle
  • 35 other volunteers are at different stages through the VCBS recruitment process

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