National Volunteers’ Week: Celebrating our volunteers!

This National Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June), Hampshire County Council Children’s Services is celebrating the more than 100 individuals who give up their time to make a difference to the lives of our most vulnerable children and young people.

Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Roz Chadd, said: “Our wonderful volunteers have continued to be active throughout the coronavirus pandemic, working virtually with families and young people as required.

Some have provided additional support to families by picking up and delivering shopping and medications during the lockdown periods. Volunteers are now starting to have face to face outdoor visits as Government Covid-19 restrictions are gradually eased.

“During this time, we have continued to receive applications for more volunteers to join us, and have delivered inductions and training to these volunteers through a combination of virtual and Covid-secure physical learning.

This has been very successful to date, and we currently have more than 30 people going through the volunteer recruitment process.

“This Volunteers’ Week, I’d like to thank each and every one of these individuals for the difference they make and for the personal touch they bring to our services for children in Hampshire.

The support and intervention provided by a volunteer has a hugely positive impact on the network surrounding a family or young person, and complements the services provided by social care staff.”

Volunteers are DBS-checked, trained and matched with volunteering opportunities, which could include mentoring, family support, and acting as an independent adult to visit and talk with children in care.

No previous experience or special skills are required and volunteers can give as little as an hour or two per week, or more if interested. Volunteers are given travel and out of pocket expenses to carry out their work.

Current Children’s Services volunteers range in age from 18 to 85 and some individuals have used the experience gained in these roles as a stepping stone into a social care career or becoming a foster carer.

Anyone interested in volunteering with Hampshire County Council Children’s Services can contact innovation.volunteers@hants.gov.uk or visit hants.gov.uk/volunteering to find out more.