Volunteers experiences of local training

Throughout the year we offer opportunities for you to attend both local and national workshops and development events; however did you know that locally you can access a vast selection of free or low cost training courses to help you with your role?

Two volunteers around a laptop  Local volunteer centres, development agencies (such as Councils for Voluntary Services, or CVS), libraries and adult learning centres often provide training opportunities on a range of subjects.

Adrianne Tobias from the East London Group regularly attends her local CVS in Redbridge.  She found the sessions on effective trust fund applications, delivered by local experts who daily approve and reject applications, particularly useful.

Adrianne said: “We were given hints and tips on how to create effective applications and what evidence is required. It was great to get a true understanding of what the questions are really asking and what information the funders would really like you to give them … One big benefit of attending these sessions is that we are now on their database and when new funds become available we are informed”.   The sessions, organised by Liz Pearce and Ola Kanu from the CVS, have equipped both Adrianne and the group with the confidence to submit good applications for trust funds.

Many volunteer centres and development agencies also arrange regular networking events, often with a speaker.  These events can enable you to develop local partnerships as well as an understanding about what is happening within the sector in your area.

Linda Swaisland from the Basingstoke and District Group started using a council based voluntary action service to advertise for new volunteers, as they were offering a brokerage service which matched people to volunteering opportunities.  Linda was advised about an event looking at how to recruit and effectively retain volunteers. As there was a small cost to attend the event Linda discussed it with the group and they felt it would be a valuable opportunity.

Linda said: “The event has been really useful in helping us try to grow as a group […] it was great to hear about how to consider motivations, managing workloads and keeping people happy whilst they are helping us […] I had no idea about what to expect from the day but when I got there and there was people from all different sorts of charities both local and national so it was a great way to share knowledge and information across the sector.”

If you have a skill you’d like to develop to help you carry out your role or help with the development of your branch or group, contact your VDC who will be able to point you in the direction of local training opportunities as well as enable them to identify topics for workshops we may deliver in the future.

May 2015

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