February is just the month to spread some love through volunteering. Random Acts of Kindness Day comes on 17 February just three days after Valentine’s Day so why not spread some kindness this year by getting involved in volunteering?
Somerset Council has a wide range of voluntary opportunities to get involved with. It is easy to find all about the opportunities available with Somerset Council on its dedicated volunteering website. Just type in the relevant location and opportunities will be listed. The list is regularly updated so keep checking back if there is nothing suitable now.
The range is remarkable, and training and guidance is available for those who step forward to support their community.
Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts, Lead Member for Communities, said:
We are so lucky in Somerset to have a fantastic network of volunteers who give up their time to help and support others.
Now we are looking for more people to come forward to fill roles which have a positive impact on so many people, and for the volunteers it’s a way to gain new skills and even a new career path.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the openings available:
Community Employment Hubs – Community Employment Hubs provide a free employment support service for people across West Somerset, Taunton and Wellington. Those who attend the hubs benefit from increased confidence and self-esteem. Roles include supporting individuals return to work, greeting people visiting the Hub’s and supporting the Hub’s Social Media presence. These are new roles to Somerset Council so now is a great time to get involved!
Route1 Advocacy – Adults are needed across the county to give a helping hand to children and young people who may need a bit of extra support by becoming advocates or independent visitors. Advocates offer short-term one-to-one support to assist a child or young person have a voice at meetings concerning their wellbeing or care. Independent visitors befriend and spend time with a child or young person who is in the care of the Local Authority.
Susan, who has been volunteering with Route1 for more than 10 years said why she enjoys her role:
The satisfaction of seeing something good happen for a child. I love it, I enjoy doing it. It also keeps my brain active and away from the mundane.
Volunteer Drivers – an ideal opportunity for anybody over 18 with a full UK driving licence and four-door car to do something for their community; particularly those who enjoy driving and meeting new people. Volunteers support people requiring support for social care appointments, as well as medical appointments, to get to and from their appointments. They appreciate the opportunity to chat to their drivers too, since some live in socially or geographically isolated situations.
On what keeps them volunteering, John, a Volunteer Driver, said:
I have a lot of other things going on in my life, but the driver role gives me a lot of enjoyment.
Rights of Way – Opportunities include helping keep your favourite local walk clear from vegetation as an Adopt-a-Path Volunteer to commenting on consultations and draft policy documents as part of the Somerset Local Access forum and others in between.
Adam, a Rights of Way Volunteer said:
I would seriously encourage it. I have got my compass out again and this keeps my skills sharp and improves my knowledge of footpaths. It broadens my outlook on the County, its’s history, and why the paths are there. If you love the countryside, it’s a great role to give something back.
Apart from the opportunities available with Somerset Council, Spark Somerset supports the voluntary sector across the County, and even more voluntary opportunities are available on Spark a Change website.
To keep up to date with latest news around Volunteering with Somerset Council, please like and follow us at facebook.com/volunteeringatsomersetcouncil.