Nobody wants volunteers!

Chris Stephen has written another great, short & sweet blog post with some tips for organisations who are facing the problem with volunteers thinking nobody wants volunteers.

Of course this isn’t the case, so here’s some suggestions to avoid this situation.

“Nobody wants Volunteers”! ! !

A call to organisations. Please Sort out your Information.

Worryingly this is something we hear in the volunteer centre regularly. Potential volunteers have gone on line, found opportunities that fit their criteria applied and then a big fat NOTHING.

If you spend a couple of evenings looking on line for the perfect volunteering opportunity and then apply for 6 or 7 opportunities and no one from any of the organisations gets back to you then you can be excused for thinking that “no one wants volunteers”.

Check list for organisations.

  •  Have a policy regarding time frame to reply to online inquiries. i.e. I will reply to all enquires with 7 days. If we set ourselves targets we are generally more likely to stick to it
  •  If I’m going to struggle to get back to people. Have a standard email that says sorry we are really, really busy at the moment we do appreciate your inquiries and will get back to asap.
  • If your volunteer opportunity has been filled. Write back to people and say thanks for your interest we are sorry etc….
  • Online checklist… Have any of your details changed. i.e. phone numbers names, role descriptions. Ensure your diary has a built in check to re read all online information. It goes out of date quickly so keep checking. It does take time but it is so important.

Chris (on her high horse about keeping info up to date)

PDF version here.

Got green fingers?

Age UK PGEYour role will be to engage children by sharing your knowledge and skills around growing, cooking and nutrition. You will work with them to help them grow food, learn how to cook it and share your own skills and knowledge with them.You will volunteer alongside the Food for Life Partnership and other volunteers with the support AGE UK Calderdale & Kirklees.

If you’re interested you can find full details and how to apply here. 

Foodies needed!

Huddersfield Partnership is recruiting volunteers for the Huddersfield Food & Drink Festival on the 6th – 9th August 2015.
If you’re interested please contact Karen at

food&drink festival

Thank You – it’s important to say it


I recently wrote a blog for my friends and family while I was living away.  The blog was chatty, informative and included stuff I thought they would find interesting. The blog received far more interest and comments than I ever imagined. It reached people I didn’t even realise knew me. Inspired by this I decided to write a blog for volunteer managers, coordinators or people who work with volunteers in any capacity.  The blog will be in the “chatty conversation style” Don’t expect perfect grammar!!! Hope you can find something to make you think, inspire you or just remind you to do something about ………….. Don’t forget please comment, reply or send me an email if you enjoyed it or hated it.

You can find a PDF version of the blog here. 

This week I’d like to look at how we reward our volunteers. It’s important to get this right as it can help us to retain (and motivate) valuable volunteers. Volunteers may not expect any reward but the unexpected is often appreciated.  I have seen some really lovely ideas which I thought I’d share with you.

This what some organisations gave to their volunteers on various months of the year.

April    A cup cake wrapped in cellophane with a small thank you sticker oncupcake

MAY   A single Carnation represents the month of May. 

JUNE   One organisation gave all their volunteers an apple in June.  I couldn’t find anything in the article to explain why but it seems like a nice idea.

AUGUST : They made their volunteers a card (gift tag size) which said I’m filing you under A for Awesome

SEPTEMBER. They arranged a vase full of bare branches and tied all the volunteers’ names to the branches.  The message said Thank you to and the volunteer’s name.

OCTOBER  This organistion sent all volunteres a thank you email.  The wording related to Halloween One said “we wouldnt stand a ghost of chance without you “.ghost

NOVEMBER .  Send a postcard with a snow scene on it and attach a sachet of hot choclate to warm them up.

JANUARY One volunteer coordinator wrote a personal letter to the Chief Executive telling her about individual volunteers and then sent the volunteer a copy.

Of course a simple THANK YOU can help build confidence and pride.

What will you do to reward your volunteers? Please let me know at

Chris  (Being creative with rewards )balloon

Holiday Fun Programme is looking for leaders

Alpha Education are urgently looking for volunteers for their holiday fun programme on the 7th & 8th April, you can find out how to apply here. 

As a Holiday Fun Leader you will be expected to:

  • Arrive at least an hour before the children
  • Help with setting up the activities for the session and leave after the activities have been tied up at the end of the session.
  • Be a responsible role model for the children
  • Support children with their activities
  • Work collaboratively with other adult leaders

What is essential?

  • Be able to work well with children
  • Good communication skills
  • Be DBS cleared
  • Punctuality

Are you good with people?

Carers have a tough job and having someone to talk to can really help.

Can you spare some time? Just phoning someone to chat or meeting them for coffee can make a difference. This is about practical friendly help, we particularly need volunteer Befrienders in Honley, Dewsbury, Batley and Crosland Moor.

To find out more contact ~Elaine  Telephone 01484 519053

or email

This opportunity is with Carers Count a local community organisation that supports carers.

Conservation Volunteers – Trans Pennine Trail

It’s that time of year when TPT make sure that all their special wild flower areas are cut back properly to give the flowers the best chance; they’ll also be giving the picnic areas and information panels a spring clean so they’re looking they’re best, ready for the sunny season (details of these workdays below). If that wasn’t enough; they’re running a Community Clear Up Day in Penistone (see below) and they’re part way through a major project with BMBC and S and J Logging to remove the old straggly Goat Willows between Bullhouse Bridge and Hazlehead Bridge – details of these days to follow.

Saturday 7th March 2015  9.30am – 4.30pm 
Click here for a map of the site and where to meet.

Workday Support: Richard Nutter
Where: On the Trail, east of the access at Shore Hall Lane.
Meet: At the site, as above.

What will we be doing? We’ll be cutting back vegetation; removing old wood and overhead branches, and giving the seating area and information panel a spring clean.

Parking: There is very little parking in Shore Hall Lane itself, so please come on foot or by bike if you can. If you have to come in your car, please park in Leapings Lane (see map) and walk along (five minutes).

You’ll need to wear…warm old clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty or torn, sturdy footwear, and warm gloves – perhaps waterproof -to protect your hands.

Do bring waterproofs (which are waterproof), and a packed lunch – we will provide you with tea, coffee, fruit juicebiscuits and conversation. We do have tools, but you’re welcome to bring your own bow saw or loppers, in good condition, if you prefer.


On Saturday 21st March, they’re holding a Community Clear Up Day in Penistone, between the station and the Skate Park. This is a national event (click on the name for more information), and we hope lots of people will come and help make the Trans Pennine Trail through Penistone look great. More information on how to get involved in this shortly.


Wild Flower Day – Saturday 11th April
If you love the wild flowers on the Trail, make a date in your diary for Saturday 11th April, when they be holding a Wild Flower Day, to see just how many different flowers you can find. Suitable for families, this event will start with coffee and biscuits and an introductory chat from their Biodiversity Officer, Charlotte Gray.

If you have any questions or would like more information you’re welcome to give Kate a ring on 07704333445/01484 865852, or email – or have a look at the website or their Facebook page

You can also follow them on Twitter: