Recruiting vital volunteers

A new look service aiming to expand Somerset’s army of volunteers has launched today (4 April).

Funded by Somerset County Council, the Somerset Volunteer Service (SVS) will match people to the many volunteering opportunities that support or enhance valuable Council services.

It is being provided by Somerset You Can Do and is committed to recruiting people of all ages to volunteer and help improve lives and communities across the county.

This could mean helping young families in getset centres; supporting people with learning disabilities to take part in sports or get out and about in their community; or being a volunteer driver taking people to health appointments.

Councillor John Osman, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Customers and Communities, said: “Every day there are people giving up their time to help others and the value to their communities is enormous.

“As a council, the services we provide are often critical to people’s quality of life and volunteer support for them can make a real difference.

“I hope this new service is successful in encouraging even more volunteers to step forward. It doesn’t matter what age you are or where your skills lie, there will be an opportunity for you.”

Somerset You Can Do already has a strong reputation for championing and promoting volunteering in the region and holds the prestigious Investor in Volunteers Award.

Its Manager, Bryan Mitchell, said: “I am proud to be running this imaginative and ground breaking service. Recruitment of volunteers has already started in advance of this month’s launch.

“There will soon be a new dedicated website explaining all the volunteering opportunities available, but in the meantime if you would like to find out more about the services we offer visit our website www.somersetyoucando.com

A key feature of the new service is the flexibility for people to be involved in more than one activity. People will be able to move around from one service to another to make full use of their skills, knowledge and experience.

Opportunities include volunteering in new community settings – meeting and greeting people of all ages and helping them to access information. Volunteers can also be attached to one of the Council’s Adult Social Care teams, offering additional support such as helping people get to their appointments or supporting them to use the new Somerset Choices website.

As well as the Somerset You Can Do website, anyone wanting to discuss the opportunities available through SVS can contact the team on 01278 664180.