Corporate volunteer days
Handelsbanken Gateshead returned this year and assigned another 10 employees to volunteer with Gateshead Carers Trust. The group enjoyed another volunteer day in Gateshead as a team.
Carers Trust have a large residential property called Kites Rise. Since 2014 this has been used by young carers and young adults for short breaks. Short breaks for young adults with learning disabilities (18-30 years) are also offered.
The group of employees from Handelsbanken spent the day at Kites Rise in July 2018. They helped by redecorating some of the facilities, and also helped with some of the gardening tasks. The volunteers had a positive experience and the Carers Trust really benefitted from their input.
Total Economic input of £1,140 into the community of Gateshead from this project.
World Pay, Lunch Group Teams Life Centre
World Pay sent a team of 12 employees along to a volunteer day in September 2018. The employee volunteers were there for 4 hours. The team got straight on with the tasks at the well-attended Teams Life Centre. The tasks on the day itself included:
- helping prepare the food
- serving all food to all people attending
- helping people to get refreshments and to a seat
- chatting to those who attended and listening to their stories
- helping to clear up after the lunch group
- helping to put everything away
- other tasks around the centre that needed some volunteer input
Economic value of £1,248 into the community of Gateshead from this project.
Sage, AJ Cooks Sheltered Accommodation Scheme
In September 2018 Sage assigned 20 new apprentice employees to the AJ Cooks Sheltered Accommodation scheme within Rowlands Gill.
The employee volunteers split into two groups. 10 of the volunteers painted the communal lounge as well as the hallways and 10 of the volunteers tidied the immediate garden area and cleared the front path to the building.
The project was identified by the Gateshead Housing Company as a priority project. This is the third Sheltered Accommodation scheme to be painted as part of group volunteering.
The opportunity encouraged the residents to get involved and to welcome the volunteers along. A drop-in session was organised by the scheme officer in the week commencing 24 September. The session informed residents what was happening, information about the organisation and what would be the result of them coming along.
The residents were also present on the day making teas and coffees for those who took part and talking to the volunteers. This enabled the volunteers to fully understand first-hand the impact that this type of project has on the community direct.
Not only did this project have a very positive impact on residents, it also enabled the team of 20 employees to take part in a group activity. The volunteers were all brand new recruits to the organisation and enabled them to work together as an initial induction project.
Sage also purchased all the equipment that was used on the day as well as the paint itself.
This option is offered to all corporate organisations as part of group volunteering and encouraged wherever possible.
Economic value of £2,500 into the community of Gateshead from this project.
Leeds Building Society
Leeds Building Society sent a total of 14 employees over to Gateshead to deliver two separate volunteer days.
The first team attended Kays Cottages (Sheltered Accommodation Scheme) in Windy Nook to undertake some basic gardening type tasks. Even though the weather wasn't very good the team of employees got stuck in and undertook some litter picking, edging, sweeping and general clearing.
The second team's volunteer day included employees of Leeds Building Society attending the Kateregina Sheltered Accommodation Scheme in Birtley. Volunteer roles on the day included assistance with the monthly lunch club, clearing away dishes, calling bingo numbers, assisting with the raffle and hoovering the lounge etc. after the event.
The employees really enjoyed both volunteer days and plan to do future events in 2018. The residents involved also had a very positive experience and are very grateful for their time and effort put into both projects.
Economic Value of £1,352 into the community of Gateshead
Gateshead Council employee volunteering scheme
Special Educational Needs Improvement (SENIT) team
The SENIT Gateshead Council team returned in 2018 to deliver a volunteer day through the employee volunteering policy. This time there were a total of 17 employees involved.
The team delivered two projects in one day at Kay Cottages Sheltered Accommodation Scheme based in Windy Nook.
They were able to paint the full communal lounge as well as tidy up the communal garden space. The volunteers had a great experience and were able to interact with the residents and hear about the impact the change will have on them.
Some of the residents also took part in some of the tasks in the garden with the team. The two projects ensured that everyone could get involved by either delivering light touch tasks or more heavy-duty activities.
The residents were thrilled with the work completed by the volunteers and extremely thankful.
Economic impact of £1,768 in the community of Gateshead from this project.
Neighbourhood Management and Volunteering
Gateshead Council's Neighbourhood Management and Volunteering Team spent their annual volunteering day in Wardley Countryside Park last week. The team joined the Gateshead countryside rangers to help remove overgrown vegetation and old fencing, top up footpaths with gravel, replace missing gates and litter pick throughout the full park.
One of the countryside rangers said: "This was a great opportunity to meet people from the council. All this extra help today means that we have completed a lot of jobs that would have taken so much longer for us to do on our own. It's been a lovely day"
A member of the public visiting the park on the day commented: "This park is looking beautiful thanks to the hard work of you volunteers. I really appreciate all of your hard work, and love seeing you all when I visit the park"
The appreciation of local residents is a credit to the countryside rangers and all their hard work on their regular visits to the park.
Wardley Countryside Park is just one of the sites that the volunteer countryside rangers help out in Gateshead. The rangers are supported by the Street Scene Team in Communities and Environment who planned the day and support the rangers in all their work across Gateshead.
Economic value of £780 into the community of Gateshead from this project.
Economic Development Team - Milvain Sheltered Accommodation Scheme
On Wednesday 16 January 2019 a total of 21 Council employees from the Economic Development team attend the Communal Lounge at the Sheltered Accommodation Scheme at Milvain in Deckham Gateshead.
Using the Employee Volunteering Policy, the team undertook a taster session and split across the morning and afternoon to provide a full day of support.
The team attended the lounge and completed a variety of tasks working with residents to compliment the service that the Gateshead Housing Company currently provide.
Residents have previously expressed their desire to paint their communal lounge to make it more homely and comfortable for them. This was identified by the residents who were also there to help out where possible on the day.
The team of volunteers painted the communal lounge in colours that the residents all chose together to make their lounge feel more like their own.
The residents were extremely grateful for the opportunities to get involved and the team appreciated the opportunity to get out and about and meet some Gateshead residents who the council support.
Chief Executives Department - Gateshead Foodbank
On Thursday 29 and Friday 30 November 2018 11 volunteers from the Chief Executives team at Gateshead Council (split over the two days in a group of 5 and 6) attended the Gateshead Foodbank warehouse located on the Team Valley Gateshead.
Using the Employee Volunteering Policy, the volunteers were able to be supported by line managers with the paid time to attend the project. They attended on these two days to specifically help with the major supermarket collection point which was happening on these two dates.
The volunteers were there to help out with all of the extra donations and sorted them all out into suitable areas following the leadership from the regular volunteers at the warehouse. The volunteers also created some parcels up ready to be donated.
The volunteers were grateful of the opportunity to get involved and to help out at the warehouse. The group valued their input at a busy time of year for them.
Economic value of £1,040 into the community of Gateshead from this project
Individual volunteer stories
Volunteer case study, Felling Volunteer Library
Alan Flower contacted Neighbourhood Management and Volunteering in October 2019 and asked for some assistance to find a suitable volunteer role. He submitted an Expression of Interest form and his skills, experience and supporting information was used to match him to a role.
Felling Volunteer Library was highlighted as a project. The library were looking for volunteers to help out in the library with the following tasks:
- opening and closing of the library
- issuing and returning of books from the library
- assisting members of the public and users of the library
- tidying up and organisation the books to make them easy access
- using the computer for a variety of reasons and general administration
- using the photocopier and other technology
Alan was provided with the information about the library and he explained that he was interested and would like to meet with the group. Alan went along to the library and got the opportunity to speak to other volunteers as well as the project lead.
Alan was happy to become a volunteer and now attends the project two times a week. Alan explains:
"Volunteering at the library has been enjoyable and interesting. I have learned new IT skills and the processes on how a library works. I have met and interacted with people from many backgrounds and outlooks on life in general"
How to volunteer
The first step in the volunteer process is to complete the expression of interest, regardless of the type of volunteering opportunity you are interested in.