News and forthcoming events

After chatting to a few colleagues within the sector we feel that there may be an appetite to re-launch the Volunteer Managers’ Network meetings.

These quarterly meetings will offer a place for volunteer managers to meet, share good practice and experiences, be updated on developing trends and generally benefit from the knowledge that you have others you can call on for support if you need to. We aim to have speakers at future meetings based on identified needs, but the initial meeting will involve discussions around the future shape of the meetings.

Our first meeting will be on Tuesday 7 November at 10am, venue to be confirmed depending on numbers, either at the offices of Brain Tumour Support or Thornbury Town Hall. Rhi Ashford, Volunteer Co-ordinator of Brain Tumour Support will chair the first meeting.

Please RSVP to Kim Webb by Friday 27 October if you would like to attend and please tell anyone else you think may be interested in attending.

Penny Baker speaking at the meeting.
Penny Baker speaking at the meeting.

We held our AGM in the Council Chamber of Thornbury Town Hall on Wednesday 5 July. Our guest speaker was Penny Baker from KRUNCH South West who gave a highly informative and interesting talk on the valuable work they do with Thornbury young people. With very limited staff and funds KRUNCH South West run two Youth Clubs in the town, offer one-to-one mentoring for young people in need of support, run workshops and courses in everything from childcare to catering and offer day trips and residential breaks. They are always on the look out for more volunteers to join their team. Visit their website for more details of what they offer.

Opening day, Saturday 27 May, went brilliantly. We had a queue of people waiting for us to open at 10am, mostly who had seen something inside the shop that they were desperate to buy. We were busy all day and many people liked the fact that we sold a bit of everything. Most popular items were bric-a-brac but we also sold an antique wooden writing slope and Chinese chess set.

The busy pop-up shop
A busy first morning!

The 1940’s cafe was busy, with the delicious cakes being especially popular. Several customers asked us to take photos of them in the café. Several new volunteers registered with us, having seen the opportunities on display in the window, and representatives from several local community organisations were with us in the shop throughout the week.

All in all it has been a fantastic experience and we have fulfilled our aim of raising the profile of volunteering within Thornbury and district as well as gaining much needed funds. We are very grateful to everyone who has donated items for sale in the shop and for the help of the St Mary Centre management team.

Quiz nights at the Swan

Sandra Davies of the Swan Inn runs a marvellous scheme by which every month a local charity benefits from the entry fees and raffle profit collected on the regular Wednesday quiz nights. We were very fortunate to have been chosen as the charity to benefit during May this year. We raised £345.50, an excellent boost to our funds. And one of our teams actually won one week!

Students reap benefits of volunteering

Remarkable students from Castle School Sixth Form who have spent the last eight months working to better their community and improve the lives of local residents have been recognised for their volunteering achievements with an award ceremony on 3 May. Around 20 sixth formers who took part in Castle School’s volunteering programme Castle in the Community were also rewarded, as were students who had helped younger pupils by acting as peer mentors and assisting at Science clubs.

Members of the charities and organisations they worked for watched as they were presented with certificates by the mayor, Cllr Helen Harrison, for their contributions to their town. Sarah Ockenden, Deputy Head of the Sixth Form, said the school was immensely proud of the students’ achievements and that they had all made a difference to people’s lives. Kevin Simpson of Thornbury Lions Club — which had once again kindly sponsored the ceremony — then said a few words about the work and ethos of the Lions.

Castle School Awards 2017
Members of the Castle School sixth form with mayor Cllr Helen Harrison (centre) and Kevin Simpson of Thornbury Lions Club (far right).

Students have been placed in many local organisations and their roles have included befriending, gardening, activities co-ordinators, charity shop work and support assistants.

Our development co-ordinator Kim Webb explained, “The benefits to students and organisations are immense. The students gain valuable work experience and life skills and the organisations increase capacity and gain additional volunteer help.”

Castle in the Community has just completed its sixth year in partnership with Thornbury Volunteer Centre and preparations for next year’s scheme will get underway soon. To get involved please contact Kim Webb.

Accept the challenge!

We are one of the six local good causes for the first South Gloucestershire Challenge.

Raise funds for us by forming a fundraising team. A team can be a group of colleagues within an organisation or a group of friends who set out to complete a fundraising challenge to raise £1,000.

So everybody can contribute, it’s also possible to make a direct donation to the scheme’s funds.

The Challenge is run by CVS South Gloucestershire with the support of the South Gloucestershire Local Strategic Partnership. The aim is to make smaller local voluntary and community organisations better known and to raise funds for local good causes.

More information about the Challenge and about the six good causes taking part.

News & information

Volunteer managers’ meeting: Meetings allow volunteer managers to meet and share good practice and experiences. The opening meeting is on 7 November. More information.

Experiences: Michele tells how a local company restored her confidence and helped her back into work.

Volunteering opportunities. Most of our many volunteering opportunities are advertised nationally and can be searched online here. Some are advertised locally only and are listed here.

We’re on Facebook and Twitter. Follow us for news and events. And all our volunteering opportunities appear there as they’re published.

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Thornbury Volunteer Centre is a registered charity, number 1004285. This site © Thornbury Volunteer Centre. Site design by Michael Quinion. Last updated 28 Sep. 2017.