Volunteering

Volunteers have had a significant impact in Cheshire East during the current Covid-19 pandemic, providing support to vulnerable people in need of help, and assisting with a wide range of volunteering activities, from collecting shopping and prescriptions, to making befriending calls, and transporting people to appointments. Volunteering also has a huge impact in our communities more generally and we at Social Action Partnership are keen to support and increase future volunteering in Cheshire East, working collaboratively with Cheshire East Council and our VCFSE sector partners to create opportunities for local people.

If you are looking to volunteer or want more information about how to volunteer or the support available to you, then please visit our partnership volunteering website We are Cheshire East

If you are a Cheshire East Volunteer Coordination Point (VCP), a VCFSE organisation that needs help in recruiting, managing or supporting volunteers, or a Volunteer Manager, please see the information below, where you will be able to access a range of useful Resources, Tools and Information.

Social Action Partnership works with strategic partners from across the Borough to generate and promote opportunities and to co-ordinate support for volunteers and organisations that provide volunteering. This includes ensuring that Volunteer Managers have access to the right tools to recruit, train, retain and manage volunteers in a range of different settings to ensure that volunteers have a safe and rewarding experience. Social Action Partnership are also working with our partners in Business and Industry to help develop new volunteering opportunities, including volunteering days and to help in fulfilling CSR and social value commitments. If you require help or would like more information about how we can support your organisation with its volunteering plans, then please contact our Team.


Volunteer Resources, Tools and Information

Volunteer Managers’ Toolkit & Volunteer Policy

Practical guidelines, resources and templates that can be easily adapted for use within your own group or organisation.

Policies

the following templates can be adapted for use within your own group or organisation. If you can’t find what you’re looking for please email the Team.

Guidance

The information is designed to provide volunteers with guidance and help in providing support to individuals safely and to remain safe as a volunteer, and includes general guidance in support of the Covid-19 pandemic.

NHS Volunteer Responders and Royal Voluntary Service have developed numerous fact sheets for volunteers. They provide helpful advice and guidance for those supporting people with mental health, dementia or other issues. They can be found here.


Training

A ‘What’s On’ Training Guide accessible to all volunteers

August and September 2021

Adult Safeguarding Awareness Training – delivered by Cheshire East Safeguarding Team.  The training is specifically designed for volunteers and provides a comprehensive overview of the types and signs of abuse and what actions should be taken. Please contact sara.lamond@cesap.org.uk for more details.

Ongoing 2021

NCVO offer a range of online training courses for volunteers – including Good Practice in Volunteer Management and Writing Successful Bids. Click here for details.

Free Courses In England – Level 2 Certificate in the Awareness of Mental Health Problems. For anyone who wishes to increase their knowledge of mental health problems, the factors that cause mental ill-health and the ways that mental health problems can be managed.  Click here for details.

Public Health England – Covid-19 Psychological First Aid. Help people with different needs to cope with the emotional impact of Covid-19. Click here for details.

The Open University offers free learning for volunteers including courses on mental health and dementia. Click here for details

Cheshire East Council has made modules available free to volunteers from their Learning Lounge. Click on the links below to go to the Learning Lounge log in page and log in as a Guest .


Volunteer Coordination Points (VCPs) Network

Social Action Partnership is working closely with Cheshire East Council, partners and the VCFSE sector as part of a co-ordinated approach called People Helping People.  As part of this, Social Action Partnership have been leading on the development of a Community Response including the development of a Virtual Volunteer Network, involving support for 16 Volunteer Coordination Points (VCPs) covering the 8 Cheshire East Care Communities areas.

Building on the good work already underway by VCFSE groups and organisations in Care Communities areas, the VCPs Network involves a range if support for existing organised groups and those newly established in response to the pandemic. The aim of the VCPs is to coordinate volunteers locally and match them to support needed by individuals and families who are impacted upon by Covid-19. VCPs provide a single point of contact through and can offer the following core provision:

  • Act as a volunteer hub for those who have offered their support to be linked to local need
  • Provide and manage volunteers who can offer advice and guidance, shop for essentials for vulnerable and self-isolating individuals, and conduct wellbeing phone calls
  • Link to support within their areas including with food banks and local buddying schemes

For more information about the current Volunteer Coordination Points please click here.

For further information or to get involved with the VCPs Network please contact our Team.

General rules for keeping safe and well whilst supporting your local community throughout the COVID-19 outbreak

  • Social Distancing – don’t enter people’s houses – stay on the doorstep and keep 2 metres apart.
  • Be kind and respectful.
  • Respect everyone’s privacy helping vulnerable people requires mutual trust e.g. don’t share any private information or contact details without consent from the individual.
  • Follow Public Health’s Guidance on infection control around COVID-19. Follow up to date information on @PHE_uk or visit the PHE website.
  • Self-isolate if you feel unwell with symptoms of Coronavirus or have been in contact with someone who has/had the virus . Guidance on this is available on the NHS website.
  • Keep in touch if volunteering always carry a mobile phone and let someone know where you are going and when you are due to return home.

We are updating this information on a regular basis and will have more updates for how you can give help or get help locally.