Staying safe when supporting others

If you are going to volunteer either as part of an organised volunteer response team, with a local or mutual aid group, or running errands for a friend or neighbour it’s important to take the following precautions for your own safety but also to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 

  1. Let family and friends know what you are doing 
  2. Maintain a safe distance of at least 2 metres – about 3 steps – from the people you are helping 
  3. If you are dropping off shopping for someone please don’t go inside the premises
  4. Try to volunteer during daylight hours
  5. Follow social distancing guidelines and don’t volunteer in large groups
  6. If possible, volunteer in pairs but staying 2 meters apart
  7. Support friends and family by phone or video call
  8. Keep washing your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
  9. If you are volunteering outside use hand sanitizer as frequently as possible
  10. If you join a local group supporting others be careful when sharing your personal data 

 

If you have any questions, concerns or you are worried about any individuals, please get in touch with us and we will be happy to support you and make referrals.

Other precautions you should take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when volunteering are:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away
  • Try to avoid close contact with other people
  • Avoiding public transport where possible

 

The most important thing to consider before volunteering is to make sure you are healthy enough to volunteer. You also don’t want to risk making someone else unwell. Please follow NHS advice and stay home if you have either:

  • A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

Stay safe, stay healthy!

Coronavirus Information and Advice

Coronavirus (Covid -19) is making the headlines world over. Here is some information about what we are doing in light of the pandemic.

We are taking steps at Volunteering Kingston to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and advice on how you can keep yourself and others safe.

As a preventive measure, we are suspending all our Volunteer Advice Sessions for the time being. We will keep you informed of the latest updates and developments in the coming weeks.

Our other services are still very much up and running, the best ways to reach is to email: enquiry@volunteeringkingston.org.uk

We will keep you updated with what volunteering opportunities there are available at this time through our website, social media and volunteer newsletters.

It can be overwhelming to assess all the information coming from various sources. For credible information, we strongly recommend you to follow instructions and guidelines issued by verified sources such as Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response and NHS

The uncertainty around this pandemic might cause stress, anxiousness and social isolation. If you feel coronavirus is affecting the mental health and wellbeing of yourself or someone you know, please read the following guidelines for some advice.

What can I do to help?

Register on our volunteering platform if you’re looking to get involved in supporting others. Shortly we will be introducing a search function where volunteers can register their interest in volunteering specifically to help with the COVID- 19 response.

Alternatively, think about supporting your local food bank by donating items. Or donate to a charity who are already helping those in need of extra support such as #helpinghands

Informal or Micro volunteering

Call or Skype a relative or friend who you know is on their own or maybe worried.

Do you have a neighbour or relative who might be having to stay at home? Could you drop off a roll of toilet roll or essential items? Use this printable ‘Kindness card’ and post it through a trusted neighbour or relative’s door. Please be sure to take sensible hygiene precautions as well as taking care of your own health and safety.

We understand that people will be taking informal volunteering action and you may want to get involved with  small local action groups that are popping up in local communities across the country. If you do want to get involved with a local action group we would again encourage you to do so taking sensible precautions and responsibility for your own health and safety. Please read our advice on how to stay safe while volunteering.

Before volunteering, please make sure you have considered your own health, any caring commitments you may have and who you need to make aware that you are volunteering.

If you know of something happening locally or want to set something up yourself please let us know.

How can you help as a business or workplace?

Consider printing off some of the ‘Kindness cards’ and give them out. If possible, allow some flexibility if staff are volunteering – e.g. allow staff a longer lunch break to check in on a neighbour. Or consider holding a food bank donation drive in your workplace.

We will be reaching out to you in the coming weeks with further service updates and developments. Stay connected, stay safe.

Princess Alice Hospice

Princess Alice Hospice is a Kingston based charity that believes that everyone has the right to skilled, compassionate end of life care. Their services are free of charge, although reliant on the support and fundraising efforts of the local community.

They provide a comprehensive range of services that respond to the individual needs of patients and their families, so that they can live life to the full, create memories, share special moments and when the time comes, support them through, before and after the death of a loved one.

The roles they offer are varied, ranging from community fundraisers, allotment volunteers and charity shop assistants.

Ingrida is the Volunteer Recruitment Officer at Princess Alice Hospice. She’s been involved in the organisation for over six years; initially a volunteer herself in a charity shop, before moving up to supervisor, and then manager. She’s now in charge of finding new volunteers.

“I find the most effective way to get new volunteers is to reach out to them through the database. I particularly like the filter functions that enable me to get in touch directly with the volunteers based on their skills and location”.   – Ingrida Tusaite (Volunteer Recruitment Officer)

The most popular roles that Princess Alice Hospice advertises are the Event Assistants. Ingrida explains the flexibility appeals to people – most of them are on an ad hoc basis and are often at the weekends. They have a few Santa Fun Run events coming up in December that Ingrida is advertising through Volunteer Connect. Specifically, they are offering family volunteering roles, allowing parents and children to volunteer together at the festive events.

 

Gerard’s Journey of Becoming a Trustee

 

Gerard is a semi-retired independent social worker, who volunteers as a trustee for Home-Start Richmond, Kingston and Hounslow. Home-Start provides support to families in the boroughs of Richmond, Kingston and Hounslow who have at least one child under the age of five. The support varies according to the needs of each individual family, but volunteers are there to listen, offer friendship in times of need, and practical help, for example, during playtime or outings.

“Having worked in the social care sector throughout my life, I decided that, given this background, I still had something to contribute to the wellbeing of the more vulnerable members of the community.”

“My experience in child protection has given me the expertise to impart in assessing risk in vulnerable families and meeting the needs of children who may have suffered, or be likely to suffer harm.”

“I deliver safeguarding training to prospective volunteers – something I have always enjoyed and believe to be of great importance. I have also benefited from advising the volunteer coordinators on safeguarding matters. Of particular importance has been my providing supervision to the senior coordinator, giving us both the opportunity to reflect on our professional practice while acknowledging the personal impact of sometimes distressing and worrying circumstances involving children.”

“I would recommend being a trustee without hesitation. I think it’s important for each and every one of us to recognise that there exists a high level of need in our community and that we all have a responsibility to respond to this and do our utmost to ameliorate the lives of those who need help.”

How to recruit a trustee

According to the Charity Commission, approximately one in five charities in the UK has a trustee vacancy indicating that there is definitely no shortage of opportunities.

So why is it a challenge for the charities to find a trustee with the right experience and skillset? If you are one of those charities facing similar challenge, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your approach towards trustee recruitment.

Every charity can build a strong board if it invests time and effort in trustee recruitment and retention. With our easy step by step guide, you can now reintroduce ways to finding your next trustee.

Step 1: Preparing for Trustee Recruitment

  • Identify skills and experience- determine gaps in the skills and experience within your board, consider the diversity of the board
  • Create an information pack- full description of the role, specific skills and experience you are seeking; an overview of the organisation, its priorities and strategies.

Step 2: The Recruitment Process

  • Promote the role– depending on your affordability and accessibility promote the role through Twitter, Facebook LinkedIn.
  • Use specialist platforms – Do-it and Trusteefinder or a recruitment firm and your immediate internal & external network.
  • Interview objectives – be clear of what qualities you are seeking (candidate’s understanding of the organisation, the role, and the difference between management and governance), have an honest dialogue about the challenges they might face, their expectations and objectives for applying. Above all, are they passionate towards the cause of the charity?

Step 3: Training, Induction and Review

  • Give trustees time and resources to help them become an effective member of the board. The Code of Good Governance and The Essential Trustee are some of the useful resources.
  • Monitoring and evaluation is the key to understanding the effectiveness of strategic management the board is responsible for, so take time to review the new appointment and see how they are settling in the role after 4 – 6 months.

Trustees’ Week 2019

 

What are Trustees?

Trustees, sometimes knows as directors, board members, governors or committee members, are volunteers who make decisions about how a charity organisation should run; ensuring that it is using it’s resources appropriately and working in the best interest of the beneficiaries and wider community. This means that the skills and experience that Trustees bring to charities are vital to the way that the organisations develop and evolve, making diversity in Trustees very important.

Research published in 2019 shows that diversity in Trustees in the UK could be much improved:

Only 2% of Trustees are young people
92% of Trustees are white
64% are male
​The average age of a Trustee in England and Wales is 59 years-old

These shocking statistics show that the people influencing the decisions made by charities are not reflective of the population and that equal representation in Trustees should be high on the agenda.

Who can become a Trustee?

Anyone who aspires to help a charity organisation achieve their goals and aims can become a Trustee and a huge range of skills could be valuable to the charity. For example, your social media skills could help a charity reach out to the public; or your ethnicity, religion or age may be able to bring a different viewpoint to represent a certain part of the community and ensure equal representation.
Volunteering as a Trustee is a rewarding role but one that most volunteers don’t tend to consider. Each organisation will expect its trustees to spend a different amount of time on the role but most Trustee roles involve meeting the rest of the board four to eight times a year and most trusteeship fits conveniently around work, home and other commitments.

Trustees Week 2018

Trustees Week runs from 12- 16 November and is a time to celebrate the important part that trustees play in the running of charities.

But what are Trustees?

 

 

What are Trustees?

Trustees are the people who lead the charity and decide how it is run. Being a trustee means making decisions that will impact people in their community or society as a whole. Trustees use their skills and experience to support their charities, helping them achieve their aims. Trustees also often learn new skills during their time on the board so being a trustee is a great way to learn.

Volunteering as a Trustee is a rewarding role but one that most volunteers don’t tend to consider. However your experience could make a lasting impact on the charity, for example your social media skills could help a charity keep up in the digital age; or you may be able to bring a different viewpoint to represent a certain part of the community and ensure that all members of the community are heard.

 

Volunteering as a Trustee is a rewarding role but one that most volunteers don’t tend to consider. However your experience could make a lasting impact on the charity, for example your social media skills could help a charity keep up in the digital age; or you may be able to bring a different viewpoint to represent a certain part of the community and ensure that all members of the community are heard.

 

 

How do I become a trustee?

You will find trustee vacanies in our latest Star Opportunities newsletter and through Volunteer Connect.

Not registered to receive our opportunities newsletter which has the best of the latest volunteering opportunities?

Sign up here

 

 

 

Meet a Trustee…

 

Anna from Kingston recently volunteered at Kingston Carers Network as a Treasurer. She has ths following to say about her experience as a Trustee (taken from Kingston Carers Network website):

 “I was attracted to the worthwhile cause and the growth in the charity’s reach.”

 

Hello, My name is Rhiannon and I volunteered for the KCN treasurer position in August 2017.

I qualified as a chartered accountant back in 2008 and my accounting career has specialised in the charity sector ever since, having worked for organisations including the NSPCC and The British Museum.

 

Last year I decided to reduce my paid employment from full to part time to fit in with family commitments, which I also saw as the perfect time in my career to ‘give something back’ by using some of my spare time to volunteer for a charity.  I hoped I could share my charity finance expertise, and in particular my experience of working with charity fundraisers to secure much needed money, with a dynamic local charity.  This is when I came across the treasurer advert for KCN which fitted the bill perfectly.  Having researched the charity, I was attracted to the worthwhile cause and the growth in the charity’s reach over the past years.

 

I applied for the position and had an interview with the Chairman, and also met some of the other board members.  We got on well and I was keen to commit to the role, and they were keen to have me as treasurer and trustee.  It’s been a great varied position.  I have attended monthly board meetings to present the charity’s financial position, worked with the CEO to advise on funding proposals and worked with KCN’s Finance Officer to assist on financial procedures.  The KCN board and staff are a fantastic bunch and I strongly encourage those reading this to consider if they too would like to apply to join KCN’s board.

You can apply to be a Trustee at Kingston Carers Network here (via the form on the right hand side of the page)