Celebrating our volunteering achievements of 2023Article Written:
Our volunteers all have an important role in making our community great. Since Middleport Matters began, volunteers have been an integral part of the organisation and we are dedicated to making their experience with us positive and rewarding.
In 2023, we’ve worked hard to expand our volunteering programme, making it bigger and better than ever. Our efforts have been recognised by VAST, who have accredited us with a gold award in their volunteering quality standards scheme.
We offer a full package of opportunity, training, development, and recognition to all volunteers. We work with our volunteers to ensure our programme is always relevant and provides the tools they need for personal growth, to feel rewarded, and make a valued contribution to Middleport.
Throughout the whole year, our volunteers have excelled in a variety of roles and helped to deliver our busy timetable of events for the community.
“This photo was taken on my very first day of volunteering- the 2023 Colour Run at Middleport Park. For years I suffered from severe anxiety that stopped me joining in with activities. The team at Middleport Matters helped me through that fear. They encouraged me to join in and helped me to see that I was a valued member of the community. What better way to say thank you than to be able to help spread that sense of community and well-being. Volunteering has been the best thing I have ever done. I have met so many amazing people and pushed myself further than I ever thought possible. I’m proud to be part of the volunteer team at Middleport Matters”- Sandra Smith, Stitched Up and Community Event Volunteer.
“I have been volunteering now for nearly one year. Best decision I made. I have met some lovely people, made lots of new friends. My most enjoyable volunteering was with the toddler group at Root’n’Fruit. Wonderful!” – Jean Tinsley, Teas and Toddles and events volunteer.
As well as supporting us to deliver our regular sessions and events, our volunteers also take part in volunteer led projects and sessions.
In August 2023, volunteers gave out essential hygiene products to 25 local families from our Harper Street Community Space. They sorted out and set up the products, welcomed residents, helped them with their selections, and chatted about what we have on offer locally. The volunteers were excellent representatives of Middleport Matters and their efforts were appreciated by all 25 families who benefited from the initiative.
Our Volunteer Befriending Service, in partnership with The Hubb Foundation has successfully been reducing social isolation in our community. We have four great volunteers who have been actively befriending individuals during 2023.
As part of our support and supervision package, volunteers are invited to bi-monthly team meetings, have regular 1-1’s with the Volunteer Co-ordinator and are offered numerous training opportunities throughout the year. The team meeting are important to our volunteers, as we discuss upcoming and developing volunteer projects, and they are able to offer their views and ideas for improving their volunteer experience.
Some of the training completed by our volunteers in 2023 include:
- Autism Awareness delivered by Lifeworks
- Dementia Awareness delivered by Approach Staffordshire
- Level 3 Emergency First Aid at Work
- Adult Safeguarding
- Professional Boundaries
- Lone working
- Food Safety Level 1
We are dedicated to recognising our volunteers for their valuable contribution to the community. Volunteers are awarded certificates and pin badges for achieving milestones in their volunteering journey.
“I’m proud to wear my lanyard”- Bob Bennett, Lead Volunteer for our Root’n’Fruit Project.
We also invite our volunteers to celebration meals throughout the year, which are a great opportunity for the volunteers from across our projects to meet and get to know each other, and to share and discuss their experiences of volunteering for Middleport Matters.
We are proud of the success of our volunteering programme, and the opportunities it has provided to our valued volunteers. We look forward to another successful year in 2024.