Contact Handbook 2011-12

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Contact Handbook 2011-12

  1. 1. Hnbo 211 a d o k 01 2 /
  2. 2. Welcome to Contact Student Volunteers! We’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on deciding to join one of the largest and friendliest associations in the Students’ Union. This Handbook is your one-stop guide to everything you need to know about Contact Student Volunteers. In it you will find information about who we are, what we do and how you can get involved. You will also find everything you need to see you through the year as a Contact volunteer. On page 13, there is a snapshot of volunteering opportunities available, but you’ll find detailed information on our website. To help find your ideal volunteer opportunity, or if you can’t find what you are looking for, talk to a member of the Volunteering Team who will be able to help. We hope that volunteering will be an amazing experience for you and for the people you help!2
  3. 3. Whybecome a What canvolunteer? you offer? • To meet new people • Time, energy and and have fun enthusiasm • To learn and develop • Your specialist skills new skills (e.g. maths, language, • To gain experience law, computer, sports, and enhance your arts, gardening or just employability being able to listen). • To road test a career • To get involved in your local community • To help others and make a difference • Volunteering not only benefits others it can benefit you too 3
  4. 4. How can you makea difference? The most important things you can offer to any volunteering project are your time and energy. It’s amazing what an impact just a few hours each week can have on the local community and other people’s lives. Working with children and young people could improve their educational opportunities and achievements. Helping at a day centre could enable more activities to be run than ever before. Listening to a child read for 15 minutes a week will greatly improve their reading ability. Whichever projects you become involved with, and whatever activities you participate in, your time and energy will be greatly appreciated!4
  5. 5. Ov r 6 0me es i 2 1/1 e 10 mb r ( 0 0 1 n )
  6. 6. Our Goals... To increase the number of students engaging in volunteering activities Increase Contact’s presence and accessibility within the University Provide quality volunteering opportunities covering a range of interests and careers Help students increase their employability and support them in gaining new skills and experiences through volunteer work Make students aware how volunteering can play a part in personal development6
  7. 7. S ceay e rtrHr ai a
  8. 8. Support As a member of Contact you will be part of a large organisation and you will have the support of the executives and the co-ordinator as well as other volunteers. Most individual projects offer support to their volunteers, ranging from regular one-to-one supervision meetings, to informal feedback sessions. Contact is committed to ensuring that all our volunteers receive support from us, and has the opportunity to meet other student volunteers, make friends, and enhance their social life. Once you have registered with us you will get news of projects, training and socials via a regular e-bulletin. You will also be able to log on to our website to sign up for information sessions, projects and training.Rights andResponsibilities As a member of Contact you have certain rights such as the right to a clear description of your role and knowing who is responsible for supporting you in your volunteering. There are responsibilities alongside this, such as agreeing to a level of commitment and acting in a responsible manner as a representative of Contact. The full list of rights and responsibilities can be found on our website along with our other policies including Health & Safety; Child Protection & Equal Opportunities. 9
  9. 9. ExpensesWhat you can expect It’s an important principle of Contact that volunteering should only cost you your time; so please remember to claim back any agreed expenses you have incurred. (please refer to the expenses policy that can be found on our website) Some projects will refund travel expenses. However, if they don’t, please see the Treasurer or the Volunteer Co-ordinator in Contact who will be able to help. Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks Volunteers working with vulnerable adults or children will be asked to complete a CRB check which we can help you with. It can take a few weeks for the check to be processed but you may be able to get started on the initial training of your chosen project while you’re waiting. We’ll let you know which projects require a CRB check when you let us know which project you’re interested in and we’llfrom us... explain how to complete one. If you have any concerns about CRB checks, please get in touch with us. Training Opportunities Many of our projects have their own specific training programmes that cover the areas needed to volunteer effectively on the project. In addition, Contact organises several training courses during the year, on anything from First Aid to Sign Language. These programmes will be advertised to you via the Contact e-bulletin, on our website, and in the Contact office.10
  10. 10. Volunteering Opportunities The opportunities to volunteer are almost endless, for example you could….. • Get experience in a local school • Support children with literacy and numeracy • Organise a community event • Gain a sports coaching qualification. • Get office experience • Plan a marketing campaign • Befriend an elderly or disabled person • Protect and regenerate the environment • Give advice to those in need • Fundraise for a local hospice These opportunities are just a snapshot. There are a wide range of opportunities available, ranging from just an hour to a year’s commitment. Visit our website to find out what opportunities are currently available. To help you choose, think about what interests you, how much time you have available and what you want to gain from your experience. Perhaps you’re looking for a project to help you gain experience for a future career or maybe you have an interest or passion for a particular cause? Don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to do, have a look at what’s available, pick a few that interest you and then email us for further information. 13
  11. 11. Community Challenge Projects Curious about volunteering but cautious about commitment? Try a one-off community challenge! Contact runs a regular programme of one-off community challenge projects taking place over just one day, or sometimes just a few hours, so you don’t need to make a regular commitment. If you don’t have time to commit to an on-going project, this is a fantastic way to get involved in volunteering. Last year, volunteers helped paint a local playground, planted vegetables at a community allotment, made eco-friendly bags, organised a game of bingo at a special needs school and played card games with elderly people. Visit our website to see photo’s of last year’s event and to find out what’s coming up this term. The biggest one-off event of the year is ‘Make A Difference Day’ (MADD). This is a nationwide day of volunteering that happens at the end of October. Watch out for news in the Contact Bulletin and the online events calendar. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Our project database We have access to information on a wide variety of voluntary activities, and should be able to point you in the right direction. Over the course of the year, new projects will start up, and old ones may close, so keep your eyes peeled for updates in the ‘Contact Weekly Bulletin’ and on the volunteering web pages at le.ac.uk/volunteering14

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