Trust Thamesmead has always been extremely grateful to members of the community giving their time for free to help us deliver events and projects. However, until now there has never been an actual process for managing, supporting and tracking volunteers or getting an idea of what sort of volunteering opportunities exist in Thamesmead. But this is about to change.
Working in partnership with Volunteer Centre Bexley, the aim for 2012 is for Trust Thamesmead to have a very successful volunteering programme as an integral part of its everyday work. All relevant staff at the Trust will be trained in volunteer management and will be able to offer a range of varied, challenging, creative and interesting volunteering opportunities that will allow local people to develop their skills, meet new people and build their confidence.
Local community groups will be trained to better manage their own volunteers, building their capacity to do more. Trust Thamesmead will have the confidence to signpost volunteers to external projects in the knowledge that opportunities offered will be of a high standard and that the volunteer will be treated in line with best practice. Young people will be encouraged to channel their energies into positive community projects through Thamesmead Youth Voice, The Link Thamesmead and Sporting Club Thamesmead, which will give them excellent experience and may assist them on their first steps into employment.
The Trust's volunteering initiative is being led by Sarah Feleppa. She told us: “I'm very excited to be taking on this project for the Trust and it has been a pleasure working with Liz Cutajar and Lynne Regan from Volunteer Centre Bexley. At the moment we are putting all the processes we need in place to ensure that we can run professional volunteer programmes across Thamesmead. It's going to be a long journey, but one we all agree is definitely worth it.”
Liz said: “Volunteer Centre Bexley values the opportunity to work alongside the Trust in boosting volunteering in Thamesmead. It is an exciting time for the area which can only be enhanced through the tremendous benefits of volunteering both to individuals and communities.”