Voluntary Support

Snowman photo for Surrey Heath Awards

Surrey Heath Volunteer Awards 2019

It’s time to nominate one of your wonderful volunteers for a Surrey Heath Volunteer Award 2019.  Volunteers often don’t want to be in the limelight and this is a great way to help them realise how valued they are.

On Monday 2nd December 2019, from 1 pm, Voluntary Support North Surrey in partnership with Surrey Heath Borough Council will be hosting their annual awards ceremony at the Camberley Heath Golf Club, Golf Drive, Camberley GU15 1JG.

Please take the time to nominate one or more of your dedicated volunteers as well as your teams for these awards.

The award categories are:

  • Lifetime Achievement in Volunteering Award
  • Inspirational Volunteer Award
  • Individual Volunteer Achievement Award
  • Supporting Individuals in Need Award (older, young and vulnerable people)
  • Long Service Award
  • Young Volunteer Award (up to the age of 24)
  • Best Volunteer Team Award
  • Contribution to Sport
  • Digital Support Award
  • Engagement in the Community Award

The judging panel has been assembled with knowledgeable representatives from our local community and will include the Mayor of Surrey Heath, Councillor Robin Perry.

Please click here for the online form.  The closing date for nominations is Wednesday 6th November 2019 at 5pm.

If you need help completing the form or would prefer it in word format please contact the Voluntary Support North Surrey office on 01932 571122.  Please do forward the details of the volunteer awards to anyone in the Borough that you feel may be interested in nominating a volunteer as we would like to make these Awards as inclusive as possible.

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You can make a difference in a day 2019

 

‘We can’t help everyone – but everyone can help someone’

#makeadifferenceinaday

Make a Difference Day was started to help encourage us all to take one day a year to try to make a difference in our world. It’s amazing what just a small effort can do for a local community or for a life. We all have an opportunity every day to change the world, whether we’re helping our neighbours, making a donation to charity or volunteering for a local voluntary group.

We’ve thought of some simple ways you can make a difference in a day and we hope you’ll give some of them a try and let us know how you get on!

Make a donation:

  • Have a house tidy and give your unwanted items to someone who can use them – Marie Kondo is great inspiration!
  • Find out what your local food bank needs and make a food donation
  • Volunteer
  • Donate money to a local charity
  • Buy charity Christmas cards

Do something for someone else:

  • Have a cup of tea with a neighbour
  • Telephone a friend or relative who needs support
  • Offer to babysit
  • Take part in a litter pick or pick up some litter yourself
  • Share your chocolate (although we’re not sure about this one!)

Be Kind:

  • Compliment a coworker
  • Give way to another car at a junction and be a considerate/patient driver for the day
  • Talk to someone in the queue at the supermarket or smile at someone in the street
  • Give up your seat on the bus or train
  • Listen

Help a local charity by sharing their messages on your social media – retweet, like, share and comment to help them reach a new audience

Making a difference to yourself will help the world around you and how you feel about it

Finally if you think you could give more time than a day we have nearly 400 live volunteer roles in North Surrey from mental health buddies to dog walking and we can find you something to suit you https://voluntarysupport.org.uk/volunteering/volunteer-now/

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Make a Difference Day in Surrey 2019

Every year we organise 2 inclusive volunteering events to involve groups of local businesses who donate their time to make a difference to the local community. Our mission is to inspire volunteers to ‘get up, get going and get active’.

Make a Difference Day is an important date in our volunteering calendar. It takes place at the beginning of October and it’s a chance for employees of local businesses to make a difference in Runnymede, Spelthorne and Surrey Heath.

If you and your colleagues are interested in a day outdoors helping the National Trust at Magna Carta on Tuesday 1st Oct or at Finchampstead Ridges on Wednesday 9th Oct please contact TJ@voluntarysupport.org.uk for more details.

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What a No-Deal Brexit Means for the Charity Sector

We’re a little fed up of the deal or no-deal Brexit scenarios being discussed ad nauseam in the press. With 31 October looming and no resolution in sight what should charities do to prepare for a no-deal?

An important Brexit consideration for many charities is their staff. Employment laws will be affected but there’s unlikely to be an overnight change in employment rights in the event of no deal. Take steps to familiarise yourselves with Home Office Guidance to allow you to support and advise your EU employees.

In times of economic difficulty, need increases, and the work of voluntary organisations becomes more important. Currently a no-deal Brexit UK economy is predicted to go into recession which will affect charity funding available at local and national level and lead to a rise in demand on charitable services, especially for those working in poorer communities. The press is predicting food and medicine shortages due to customs-check chaos and a fall in Sterling by 10%, which would increase the cost of imported goods and services. It would also further reduce the purchasing power of charities operating abroad. Charity boards should be reviewing risk, existing financial position and funding streams in advance of the departure date.

A recent report states that a third of charities are over-reliant on one source of funding and those charities said losing their major source of funding would lead to the charity’s demise. Brexit aside, voluntary organisations must remain financially robust to cope with the needs of beneficiaries and their communities. Considerations of current and future funding sources should already be part of your fundraising strategy but a no-deal Brexit will mean further diversification and new ideas to compensate for a shortfall. It takes at least 6 months for most grant applications to be fruitful and your fundraising should take advantage of all your physical, human and digital assets – it should be creative and imaginative  – check out different ideas on the internet and try adapting other charities fundraising successes to what your organisation could achieve.

Being aware, discussing and planning for Brexit related issues at trustee and board level is a good way to avoid unwelcome surprises – download and read the full guidance from NCVO or watch the webinar on what a no-deal means to the UK charity sector.

If you need help writing or updating your fundraising strategy please contact suzie@voluntarysupport.org.uk

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Befriending in North Surrey

Time to Talk is our befriending project in Surrey Heath. Over the last 6 months we’ve heard some lovely stories from our befrienders and the people they’ve spent time with:

Glen’s daughter became concerned about her mum who had always loved to chat was now struggling to socialise. Glen had suffered a loss, been unwell, moved house and was feeling lonely and isolated. ‘Time to Talk’ matched Glen with Yasmin, one of our volunteers, they hit it off immediately and Yasmin has visited Glen weekly ever since.

Glen’s daughter has noticed a big difference in her mum since the visits started. Glen very much enjoys Yasmin’s company, her visits are ‘the highlight of Mum’s week’. ‘Absolutely gorgeous’ is how Glen describes her time spent with Yasmin, ‘it gives me something to look forward to, we talk about all sorts of things, current affairs, dating and have a good laugh’.

Yasmin tells us that she wished she started volunteering years ago because the time she spends with Glen is lots of fun and flies by. They enjoy sharing stories and experiences, including the way dating has changed over the years, Yasmin had never heard of a dance hall!!

It’s a small thing to be a friend but it has such a huge impact. Why don’t you make a difference to someone’s life by being a Time to Talk volunteer https://voluntarysupport.org.uk/volunteering/time-to-talk/

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Digital Fundraising

Digital fundraising is simply fundraising online using digital technology. Alongside traditional fundraising, digital techniques should now be part of your fundraising strategy.

90% of adults in the UK are internet users and 80% have a smartphone which they use to browse the internet. We spend an average of 24 hours per week online, using a mobile for phone calls is only considered important by 75% of smartphone users, compared to 92% who consider web browsing to be more important. This is an audience of 48 million people to whom you can tell the story of your organisation and ask for support.

These statistics should convince even the most sceptical and techno-phobic trustees that your organisation need a digital fundraising option. There a number of online channels you can use to fundraise:

  • Website – your website is a window to your organisation and should set out your cause and impact. The site should have a clear donate button and allow donors to easily and securely make donations.
  • Giving Platforms – depending on your website traffic and finances you can choose from a number of different options – have a look the options
  • Social Media – use your social media platforms to promote your organisation, tell stories of your beneficiaries and ask for donations. Facebook and Instagram now allow donations to be made directly to UK charities without fees.
  • Donate As You Spend – There are a number of different schemes – Amazon Smile and Give As You Live are just 2 ways for your supporters to raise funds for your charity through everyday online shopping

On Monday 21st October, I’ll be running a free Digital Fundraising workshop in Camberley – open to voluntary organisations, covering the subject in greater detail and offering ideas and information on adding digital to your fundraising strategy.

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Training for Charities and Voluntary Organisations in Surrey

Learn new skills to improve your charity knowledge this autumn at training and workshop events covering a wide range of subjects:

  • Working with your Trustees – As a chair a big responsibility is finding and managing good trustees. It is not made easier by the fact most trustees are typically volunteers and have limited time and varied backgrounds. So why not come along to the launch of the working with trustees series where you can meet other chairs and learn good tips and tricks – Tuesday 24/9/19, 6pm-8pm, EC4V, London, £40 or free to AoC members, contact events@associationofchairs.org.uk
  • Trustees Duties and Responsibilities – Do you think your trustees understand their responsibilities or if you are a trustee are you confident with what is expected of you? During the seminar there will be a practical look at what it takes to be an effective trustee – 8/10/19, 4:30pm-6:30pm, Guildford Harbour Terrace GU1 3DA, Free, contact gordonreid@barlowrobbins.com, 01483464224
  • Recruiting Trustees – The focus of this trustee event is Recruiting Trustees. It will be an opportunity for the trustees of local nonprofits to share issues and successes and to hear about best practice in recruiting trustees https://voluntarysupport.org.uk/event/recruiting-trustees-event/
  • Grant and Trust Application Writing – One day free fundraising course for non profit organisations in Surrey concentrates on structuring and composing applications for grants and trusts (national and local) https://voluntarysupport.org.uk/event/application-writing-for-grants-and-trusts/
  • Social Media and Website Training – One day free social media and web training workshop for not for profit organisations in Surrey led by colleagues at Surrey County Council https://voluntarysupport.org.uk/event/website-and-social-media-workshop/
  • Volunteering and the Law – This workshop will provide an opportunity to learn about or refresh your knowledge on volunteering and the law. It is designed as an overview of the current legislation relating to volunteers https://voluntarysupport.org.uk/event/volunteering-and-the-law/
  • Digital Fundraising – One day free fundraising course for non profit organisations concentrates on the increasing importance of using digital in all it’s forms to raise funds for your charity https://voluntarysupport.org.uk/event/digital-fundraising-training/
  • Successful Volunteer Management – One day free course covering the basics for developing a successful volunteer programme, including interaction and practical activities to allow participants to practice the skills needed to manage volunteers https://voluntarysupport.org.uk/event/successful-volunteer-management/

Sign up using the hyperlinks or contact details and we look forward to seeing you there!

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New Term – New Tricks

NCVO announced this week that 36% of voluntary sector employers believe their staff are missing digital skills. This skills gap is a serious strategic weakness when we should be using technology to raise funds, increase cause awareness and reduce costs by working more efficiently.

There are 5 main digital skills identified as essential for organisations to participate in and contribute to the digital world:

  • communication
  • handling information and content
  • transacting
  • problem solving
  • being safe and legal online

Lloyds Bank Charity Digital Index found that 48% of charities do not have all five digital skills and ‘problem solving’ is the area with the greatest gap. Only 64% of charities are using digital tools and online resources to solve problems, online feedback to improve services, and analytics to optimise websites performance.

To improve your skills we have 2 events in October. On 2/10/19, in the lecture theatre above Weybridge Library, colleagues from Surrey County Council are offering a social media and website workshop with sessions covering:

  • Social Media and Marketing – How should I use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and everything else?
  • Running a website – Where do I start, what should I think about
  • Web/Content writing – Why should I write differently online?
  • Our website is live, what now?
  • How do I measure who is visiting my website? What do they look at? What do they like or dislike? When should I make changes?

There will be an open panel discussion with all presenters for submitted questions or questions from the floor. Tickets available on Eventbrite.

I’ll be running a Digital Fundraising course on the 22nd October, a free one day course for non profit organisations concentrating on the increasing importance of using digital in all it’s forms to raise funds for your charity. I’m also available one to one for any digital or social media enquiries you have – if I don’t know the answer I’ll find out! Email me at suzie@voluntarysupport.org.uk

There is some good news – although there is still room for improvement, the resourcefulness of UK charity sector seems to paying off with the digital capability of UK charities has almost doubled since 2014!

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Fundraise with Instagram

Last week Instagram announced that eligible UK charities and supporters can now raise money for their charity on Instagram using donation stickers. The great news is that like Facebook, 100% of the money raised using the Instagram donation sticker goes to your organisation.

To be eligible to receive donations through donation stickers your UK registered charity must:

  1. Register with Facebook to use its charitable giving tools (to use donation stickers your charity must be approved to accept Facebook payments)
  2. Link your Instagram profile to your organisations Facebook page
  3. Convert your Instagram profile to a business profile

Once you’ve completed these steps, your organisation’s Instagram account is eligible to be fundraised for on Instagram Stories.

Now you can create your own Instagram photos/stories about your cause and add a donate sticker for your charity. You can also ask your supporters to do the same on their Instagram stories and photos to raise money for you.

It’s a straightforward process:

  1. Take a photo or video using your Instagram account
  2. Tap the sticker icon in the top of phone screen

  1. Selection the DONATION sticker from the options

  1. Select your charity from the list displayed
  2. Tap Send to and then Share with your friends

Facebook has made suggestions on best practices for using Instagram donate stickers:

Kick start your donation story with photos and video of what your cause is and why it matters and what the donations will help to accomplish. Use the creative tools to make it visual and post donate sticker in lots of stories for exposure. Keep people up to date with your campaign with milestones and achievements. Finally, use the highlight feature to pin your story to your profile so that your supporters have access to your donation story for more than 24 hours.

For those of you new to Instagram here’s a couple of links to help you get started:

How to get started on Instagram

Creating an Instagram story

 

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Combat Food Poverty with the Foodbanks of North Surrey

In the UK, more than 14 million people are living in poverty – including 4.5 million children.

An estimated 8.4 million people struggle to get enough to eat. This includes many households with people in work, families with children, as well as older and disabled people.

There are dedicated community groups in North Surrey taking action to ensure people are able to eat and to address the root causes of people’s difficulties and they need your support. All this week we’ll be highlighting how you can help these organisations and tackle food poverty in our local community.

Between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019, the Trussell Trust’s food bank network distributed 148,640 three-day emergency food supplies to people in the South East of England. More than half of these went to childrenFood poverty affects children who lack free school meals during the holidays; parents on low incomes going without food so that their children can eat; working people whose low wages leave them struggling to buy healthy food; or older people unable to prepare meals without support.

An estimated 4.7m people in the UK reported they went a full day without anything to eat at all due to lack of money. Based on these estimates, the UK – the 6th largest economy in the world – ranks in the bottom half of European countries, on par with Hungary and Latvia.

Summer holidays are a misery for parents struggling to feed their children and you can do something about it. No matter where you live in North Surrey you can make a donation to your local foodbank (see details below) or become one of their dedicated volunteers.

Contact alison@voluntarysupport.org.uk for more information about volunteering for a foodbank in your area

Runnymede Foodbank, Runnymede

Manna Foodbank, Spelthorne  Sunbury Foodbank, Spelthorne  Stanwell Foodbank, Spelthorne

Besom, Surrey Heath

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