Volunteering is a way to help people in need, good causes and the community – but the benefits can be even bigger to you personally.
Becoming a volunteer could:
- Build your confidence or help get you out of depression
- Introduce you to new people
- Give you a chance to try something new or learn new skills
- Lead to training, a college course or a job.
While it’s true that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll get, volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day. Giving in even simple ways can help those in need and improve your health and happiness.
In the year from April 2018 to March 2019 there were 352 sessions run by volunteers in BITMOs GATE. Volunteers are registered with BITMO, police checked and provided with training. They run a range of different activities as set out below:
- Ancestry – a volunteer has run a weekly session helping residents research their family trees for more than five years, As well as the research, residents improve their computer skills and enjoy the social side of the group.
- Volunteers who have had training lead a weekly walking group.
- A volunteer runs a weekly art class helping residents to sketch and do paintings.
- There is a weekly club for those new to computers. One volunteer sets up laptops for the group and another acts as tutor.
- Volunteers heat soup and make toasties every Tuesday lunchtime.
- A volunteer runs 4-6 week arts and crafts courses several times a year on themes like Valentine’s or Christmas.
- A volunteer runs free guitar lessons at beginner and intermediate levels on Wednesday evenings.
- Volunteers come in at 7.30am every Friday to cook breakfast for 30-50 people, who pay what they can. The cost is subsidised by BITMO and of course the voluntary effort of the volunteers.
- Volunteers help run activities in the sheltered schemes for older tenants.
We are looking for more volunteers who may be able to get involved in some of these activities – or new activities.
Here are some areas we would like to find new volunteers for:
- Gardening. Could you be part of a group to help people who are struggling to maintain their gardens?
- Computer Support. Could you provide help to people in the GATE who need support to get online – for example to help them read their emails, update their Universal Credit accounts or complete online applications? We would help you train to become a “Digital Champion”.
- An afterschool group one day every week – for parents and children with activities and a snack or basic meal.
We also always need volunteers on the day for events during the year – like the Belle Isle Community Gala, parties for older residents and the Christmas Market.
BITMO arranges meetings with volunteers.
We also offer:
- Training on working with groups
- DBS clearance (police checks)
- Health & Safety and fire training
- Safeguarding awareness training
- Office experience
- Mentoring and one to one support
The programme is built around you, and designed to help you reach your goals, whatever they might be!
We would love to hear from you if you are interested in becoming a volunteer – or just want to learn more. Contact GATE staff via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0113 378 2190.