Events held in 2017

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.

Volunteer Christmas lunch

On Friday 8 December we invited more than 50 volunteers and representatives from volunteer-involving organisations to our annual Christmas thank-you lunch in the Council Chamber of Thornbury Town Hall.

This is a lovely festive event which is always well attended with guests treated to a delicious buffet lunch supplied by our volunteers.

Thornbury Mayor Helen Harrison attended; she praised all those present for their dedication and hard work in supporting the Thornbury community and ensuring that it continues to be healthy and vibrant. She then presented the Alan Hudson Award for Volunteering Achievement to this year’s winner, Thornbury Foodbank, and drew the winners of our raffle.

Special thanks go to Sandra Davies and her team at The Swan for their Charity quiz nights which funded this enjoyable event.

Quiz Nights hugely successful!

The Swan Inn, Thornbury.

We were the charity chosen during November to benefit from the entry fees and raffle profit from the Wednesday quiz nights at the Swan Inn. We are slightly gobsmacked to learn that the scheme raised a staggering £665 pounds. This is a big addition to our funds and will help us achieve our aims. Many thanks to Sandra Davies at the Swan for thinking of us and to everybody who took part. Some things really can be both fun and profit!

Bags of help please!

We’ve received a great boost to our finances by being chosen as one of the three finalists in the Tesco Bags of Help initiative in Thornbury.

Tesco Bags of Help logo.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to create this community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 awarded to local community projects. The money is raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores. The Bags of Help project has already delivered more than £36 million to almost 8,000 projects up and down the UK.

Each time customers shop in the Thornbury Tesco store throughout November and December, they will be given a token at the checkout. With it they can cast a vote for which of the three causes should be awarded the largest grant.

Because we’re one of the three finalists, we already know we shall receive at least the smallest grant. But — like all voluntary bodies in these straitened times — we know we can do so much more if shoppers choose us for first or second place.

This unexpected but very welcome windfall comes at a significant moment in our history. Next year is our 30th anniversary and we were already planning several initiatives to connect volunteers with local organisations that offer volunteering places.

News & information

Celebrating Thornbury fair: On 30 March, showcasing local clubs and societies & volunteering opportunities. More here.

Volunteer Managers’ Network: The next meeting, focussing on planning for Volunteer Week, has been arranged for Wednesday 6 March. Details here.

Help raise funds through AmazonSmile: If you shop at Amazon we are donated funds. More information.

Updated mailing list: You can now manage your subscription to our mailing list for yourself.

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

Support us via AmazonSmile at no cost to you.  

Thornbury Volunteer Centre is a registered charity, number 1180775. The Town Hall, 35 High Street, Thornbury, BS35 2AR. Hours: Monday‑Friday, 10.30‑12.00; Tel: 01454 413392

This site © Thornbury Volunteer Centre. Site design by Michael Quinion. Last updated 31 Dec. 2017.