Volunteering

The Berkshire Branch acts as a go-between to put volunteers in touch with local organisations and individuals who need help.

You might be able to offer a talk to local schools, you might have technical knowledge or skills that an organisation needs, but cannot pay for, or you might have computer skills you can use to support local voluntary organisations or disabled individuals. Read the stories below to see how volunteers have helped our local community.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP look out for local volunteering opportunities posted on our website and newsletter.

IF YOU REPRESENT AN ORGANISATION THAT NEEDS HELP,  or have any other suggestions at all, please email volunteering.berkshire@bcs.org.uk .

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN HELPING OLDER PEOPLE OR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, or you require such help please contact AbilityNet .

The names of volunteers and the individuals or organisations they help are never released, unless all parties want to advertise the volunteering effort as a way of encouraging others to ask for or to offer voluntary assistance. Our volunteers do a lot more than is advertised here!

 

NEW OPPORTUNITIES

CODE CLUB – VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

Code Clubs for children aged 7 to 11 are now running in Bracknell and Great Hollands libraries to give children experience in computer coding. Children first learn to programme computer games and animations using Scratch then have the opportunity to create websites using HTML, CSS and Python. We currently need more volunteers to help run our computer coding sessions, either supporting Bracknell Library (meets term time Saturdays 10am-11am) or helping us expand in more libraries and at different times. For more information on volunteering or code club, visit Bracknell Forest Libraries or the Code Club web site.”

 

Digital Support Volunteers (Liz and Chris) helping Shaw Trust’s charity shops become digitally connected

There are now two of us volunteering to provide digital support to Shaw Trust charity shop staff all across the region. Liz Cooper has been volunteering in the role since last June and Chris Todd-Davies started late last year. As Digital Support volunteers Liz and Chris have been recruited to share their IT skills with the charity’s shop management team and provide them with ongoing advice and training, helping the shop staff to not only get online, but feel more confident with their IT skills and take advantage of more marketing and fundraising opportunities, including using eBay and Salesforce. This is a new volunteer role for Shaw Trust and based on the positive changes that Liz and Chris have already made, the charity is hoping to recruit more Digital Support Volunteers across the country, including in the South West and North.

Talking about their experiences so far Liz and Chris mentioned that:
“It has been great working together on this project and being able to share experiences and ideas and collaborate on the best ways forward for Shaw Trust. As a result of our initial discussions and experiences in the role, we raised some concerns with our Volunteer Manager, Gemma McGrath. Gemma then made arrangements for us to meet with Shaw Trust’s Online Retail Manager in Reading to discuss the challenges that exist and we are now all working together to develop the best approach for helping the charity shops.”
So far Liz has been working with the Egham and Maidenhead shops. In Egham this has involved spending time training the shop manager and assistant manager on Outlook and how to save and print attachments, as they didn’t feel confident doing this. Liz produced some excellent ‘Quick Guide for Outlook’ documents to support this training, which have been made available and rolled out to all Shaw Trust retail staff to access. In Maidenhead the needs of the manager were different and Liz focused instead on helping them to use Shaw Trust’s finance system to ensure that the shop volunteers were getting reimbursed for their expenses. This also involved teaching them how to scan documents.

Meanwhile Chris has been in Chalfont St Peter, where he has been supporting the shop manager with using Outlook, including helping them to tidy up their inbox, create new folders such as ‘Action’ and ‘Ebay’. Chris has also produced a document supporting the manager with how to scan documents. The training approach has been user-led and not too structured. Next on Chris’ list is to help the staff with Word, Excel and internet basics. The shop manager Audrey commented on the support that Chris has provided so far, by saying that:
“I would recommend Chris to any shop manager who needed support. I find him very helpful and patient”.
Based on this recommendation Shaw Trust’s Gerrards Cross manager has also snapped up Chris’s support.