Building Capacity for Volunteering in East Kent

I’ve been in Kent this week delivering Organisational Strengths Review workshops to staff and trustees of Thanet Volunteer Bureau and Dover District Volunteer Centre.

I’m jointly commissioned by both charities to undertake an Organisational Strengths Review to determine their strengths, areas for improvement and opportunities, in addition to exploring any potential opportunities for the charities to work more closely together in the future.

Dover District Volunteer Centre, based in Deal, builds a better community for all by delivering a range of volunteer-led projects which promote the health and wellbeing of people across the district including volunteer transport services, befriending services and a DBS checking service.

Thanet Volunteer Centre, based in Ramsgate, also provides a volunteer transport service to help people get out and about to hospital appointments, supermarkets, etc. The charity has a particular emphasis on supporting older people and recently made a successful application to the Big Lottery Fund to build upon its successful Thanet Community Support Partnership, which we evaluated in 2015.
In addition, both charities fulfil a vital role in matching potential volunteers in Kent with a wide range of volunteering opportunities, including volunteering with older people or children and young people, conservation work, working with animals, theatre and the arts and many more.

My work with charities and social enterprises takes me all over the UK and I’m consistently impressed by the diverse range of volunteering opportunities on offer. To emphasise my point, a quick Google search finds that the Youth Hostel Association is looking for volunteers to help maintain its hostel in Land’s End, whilst Friends of the John O’Groats Trail are on the look out for volunteers to help maintain their walking trail to Inverness!

Part of our Organisational Strengths Review looks at the external environment and considers how a charity addresses local needs and it’s clear from our workshops this week that both charities are enabling volunteers to address a wide range of needs across Dover District and Thanet.

If you happen to be reading this in East Kent and you have time to spare, or you’re a charity in Dover or Thanet looking for volunteers, then it’s certainly worth getting in touch with them.

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