Our monthly volunteering outreach session for June was at Walton-on-Trent yesterday. Chris and Ann from the Volunteer Centre team went to the village to promote volunteering and the rest of CVS services.
We had booked some space at the Village Hall for this session, but when Chris and Ann arrived in Walton, they discovered a fantastic opportunity to take the message directly to a group of people who were meeting just a few yards away.
Here is Chris’s own account of the session.
One of my targets is to raise the awareness of volunteering in South Derbyshire by visiting different areas.
Today, Ann, our volunteer in the Volunteer Centre and myself took to the village of Walton on Trent which is on the outskirts of South Derbyshire. I had booked the room adjacent to the village hall to raise awareness of volunteering to the people of Walton. Posters had been put up on the Parish Notice Board as well as in the school, village hall, shop and take-away restaurant. The event had also been promoted to the voluntary sector via email and also on the Volunteer Centre blog.
On arrival, the mums and dads were dropping off their children for the play school session, these people were all given leaflets about volunteering but did not appear to want to stop and chat. One of the ladies, Jane who co-ordinates the Parish newsletter, is already in touch with the Volunteer Centre and had received information for their next issue. She did mention that we would probably not see many people as there was a coffee morning being held further down the road, where most people would be attending.
The caretaker arrived to open up the room only to find she did not have a key, this was soon remedied by calling on the chair of the Parish Council. We were in the building!!!!! Not quite what we expected as once we were in, no-one could actually see we were there. I stood outside on the street, armed again with my leaflets, debating whether to walk around the village leaflet dropping. An 88 year old lady walked by so I stood and chatted to her and she was on her way to the coffee morning where funds were being raised for the local church. She suggested we went along and had coffee and cake and talk to the group. Needless to say, I didn’t have to be asked twice.
We went along to what was a typical English country village scene. A lady in a straw hat was taking the entrance fee and chatted about her volunteer work at the hospice and also offered free tuition to anyone who wanted to learn French (she used to be a teacher).
I introduced Ann and myself to the lady of the house, Carol Kobylanski who was very welcoming, and ushered us outside to sit in the glorious sunshine with the other ladies and gentlemen. We sat and chatted mainly about the services CVS offer to the elderly, which they seemed very interested in, especially when they noticed one of their friends on the cover of the Lunch Club leaflet!
- Raised awareness of CVS and Volunteering to 20 people at the village hall
- Issued up-to-date CVS leaflet for Parish Notice Board
- Raised awareness of CVS and Volunteering to around 30 people at the garden party
- Over 50’s group would welcome a talk from CVS – contact details also taken for Funding Advice
- Promoted all CVS services explaining each one and left leaflets for Lunch Club, Safer Homes, Handyvan, Social Car, Volunteering, General CVS
- The Chair of the over 50’s group volunteers with Marian Askew at the Hospital and also has links with the 50+Forum and praised Gill Farrington for all her help with the Constitution etc.
- Research the venue and find out if there are any other events going on in the village that we can attend, rather than being tucked away where no-one can see us.
- If possible, check the venue beforehand
- Research the village where posters can be displayed.