Strengthening Communities - Volunteering In Lancashire

The Strengthening Communities – Volunteering in Lancashire project aims to boost access to volunteering across Lancashire engaging the most disadvantaged individuals who are removed from the labour market and who would not otherwise participate in such activities. It will provide them with realistic pathways to employment through mentoring, accredited and non-accredited training and access to volunteer placements in the voluntary and community, public and private sectors. Participants on the project are likely to have a number of the following characteristics:

  • Long term unemployed
  • Over 50 years of age
  • Disabilities
  • Women
  • Overcoming drug or alcohol abuse
  • Care responsibilities for children or other adults
  • Economically inactive
  • BME backgrounds
  • Physical or mental health problems
  • Resident in disadvantaged areas
  • Care leavers
  • Lack basic skills
  • Prisoners on release/ex-offenders

This project will use established mechanisms to engage people in volunteering activities, and will provide outreach capability from existing community venues located in areas of disadvantage.

Activity is designed with an emphasis on the volunteer journey and providing wraparound support from initial engagement through to achieving outcomes of work, learning or becoming a peer mentor for future volunteers.

 

Support For Individuals

Engagement & Referral

  • Engagement  – our key worker  will identify and engage target beneficiaries and act as a case-manager and mentor for the duration of the volunteer journey
  • Referrals – many referral pathways to identify individuals are already established through Pennine Lancashire’s Transforming Lives programme (established multi-agency hubs working with those on the cusp of crisis). These multi-agency locality hubs will make referrals to the programme as part of their stepdown work. In addition links with a range of agencies will be made to develop pathways into the programme, including adults and children’s social services, police, job centres, voluntary sector organisations, probation, Youth Offending Service, and health partners
  • Needs Assessment – every individual engaged with the programme will have a needs assessment to ensure the right training and volunteering activities are sourced, and that the right support is put in place to help every individual achieve their potential

 

Training

A team of tutors will deliver training packages in 3 phases:

  1. Initial confidence building and self-esteem workshops
  2. An accredited package for volunteers including safeguarding and health and safety
  3. Bespoke training to prepare them for volunteering

 

Brokering

  • Individuals will be matched with suitable volunteering opportunities, either in the public sector, voluntary sector or with local businesses
  • Voluntary sector placements will be matched through existing centres operated in the county by the network of Councils for Voluntary Service (CVS) and volunteer centres
  • Structured taster placements will be identified to prepare individuals for the main placement as part of the matching process and to develop their interests and practical skills. They will also make best use of time and reduce barriers to participation, whilst waiting for DBS references and checks

 

Additional Support will come from a range of sources including:

  1. Wraparound support from National Careers Service officers to guide volunteers’ progress into further learning and work
  2. Continuity of support throughout from a dedicated key worker with mentoring skills who can provide advice and coaching on a range of issues

 

Volunteering Opportunities

  • This project will help facilitate opportunities available to volunteers in the voluntary sector by engaging them as delivery partners, drawing on their extensive experience of working with disadvantaged people and providing structured support, training, development and placement brokering for volunteers;
  • Opportunities in the public sector will also be opened up for target beneficiaries by linking in closely with the Lancashire Public Service Volunteer Partnership Programme
  • A key area for this project will be creating links with local employers and developing opportunities for volunteer placement within a business setting

 

Eligibility

To be eligible for support from the Strengthening Communities – Volunteering in Lancashire Project participants must:

  • Be legally able to reside and work in the UK
  • Are resident in Lancashire

 

To discuss further or to refer an individual, please contact your local project representative: Janette Holden at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call 01282 433740 Ext. 1011