Volunteer Glasgow had originally put out a call for Registrations of Interest for Glasgow's Volunteering Charter (GVC) in May this year. With hindsight we understand that many Glasgow Third Sector Organisations may not have been in a position to make initial Registrations of Interest for Glasgow's Volunteering Charter at the time due to Covid-19 protocols. So, we're seeking again, initial Registrations of Interest from Glasgow's Third Sector Organisations who wish to take the initial steps to Charter Signatory stage now that Covid-19 protocols are lessening.
Volunteer Glasgow, under the proviso of Glasgow’s Volunteering Strategy (GVS) 2019-24 (a Glasgow Community Planning initiative) is re-launching Glasgow’s Volunteering Charter to Glasgow based Third Sector Volunteering Involving Organisations (V.I.Os) who wish to initially become Signatories to the following Charter Pledges:
- Create and expand appropriate opportunities for volunteering within their organisation and/or
- Ensure your opportunities are accessible to all sections of the community, and that your volunteering workforce reflects the demographics of the city and/or
- Facilitate and enable your staff, members and/or service users to undertake volunteering activity which improves their wellbeing and benefits Glasgow
Glasgow’s Volunteering Charter is the vehicle to addressing the increasing gap between the number of people interested in volunteering and the number of inclusive volunteering opportunities within Glasgow.
Glasgow has the potential to tap into the City resource of people willing to offer their skills and time for free in a diverse range of activities across the city.
Glasgow needs to develop more volunteering opportunities to ensure the overall rate of adult volunteering increases. Also, the need to ensure these opportunities are accessible to all and to monitor this in terms of rates of volunteers in equalities groups as well as disadvantaged geographical areas.
Volunteer Glasgow is committed to Glasgow as a city that values and supports volunteering by recognising its contribution to personal, community and economic development. Realising this vision means working to develop the high quality, inclusive and varied opportunities which will allow all Glaswegians to share in the wellbeing benefits of volunteering.
What are the benefits to organisations of signing the Charter?
Providing more volunteering opportunities and making them more inclusive can benefit your organisation in several ways:
- People who are volunteering for your organisation are donating their time, skills, experience, and energy: you can do much more for your service users, members, and wider beneficiaries by harnessing this support.
- By signing the Charter, you are making a public commitment to our shared objectives.
- Once you have achieved the Charter Mark, you can boost your organisation’s profile, receiving recognition from key partners for your contribution to the city’s shared objectives.
- In signing up to the charter you are joining a host of likeminded organisations in Glasgow that recognise the value in both offering volunteering opportunities and allowing staff to volunteer.
If your organisation wishes to initially progress a little in the Glasgow’s Volunteering Charter process, it is important that the information on our Charter web pages have been fully considered prior to registering interest (in link below). You can view the pages in this link. https://www.volunteerglasgow.org/charter/
Please also consider the Section Pages links in the right hand pane of the web page.
NB: The Charter Pledges, FAQs, Charter Commitment and Phase 1 (for previous organisations who have become signatories and achieved the Charter Mark- *asterisk) sections are of particular importance.
As part of Volunteer Glasgow’s initial engagement with Partners who wish to make (click on link) initial signatories commitment towards achieving The Charter Mark, we are initiating a mapping exercise to establish which Glasgow based Third Sector Partners can promote a formal commitment to achieving The Volunteering Charter Mark.
This initial engagement with your organisation will include an outline Organisational Needs scoping exercise to identify potential knowledge, skills, motivations, processes & resource gaps that may be highlighted in your organisation towards achieving The Charter Mark.
Your Glasgow based Third Sector Organisation can initially register interest in becoming a signatory by completing the pro-forma in this link. https://www.volunteerglasgow.org/charter/register/
In completing the Registration of Interest our Charter Support and Training Coordinator (Derek Craig) will proceed to make further contact with the named person who completed the Pro-forma to assist the mapping exercise in providing guidance on what potential organisational issues and aspects should be considered prior to becoming initial signatories.
For a wider impact picture of how Glasgow's Volunteering Charter in its first round in 2016, has impacted Third Sector Organisations please view the independent Glasgow Centre for Population Health's Evaluation of Glasgow's Volunteering Charter.
Volunteer Glasgow looks forward to working in partnership with your organisation in assisting it towards achieving the Glasgow’s Volunteering Charter Mark.
I think it was kismet that led me to Sumayya and Kaleyard. I was really just wasting time on Instagram and saw a post about Edinburgh and Sumayya’s top things to do. I was intrigued by the little bit of her story they told and looked her up. That was all it took. Within five minutes of discovering that she existed, I sent an email to see if there were any volunteer options available. I wanted to experience Kaleyard and see this very different social enterprise for myself. Lucky for me, there were a few volunteer spots open across several classes and I signed up for them all.
I’m not sure I really had any idea what I was getting myself into! I knew the Kaleyard was in its early stages, and I thought I understood the mission of bringing access to good food and community to those that might not otherwise find it. But it was an entirely different thing to see the smiles on the faces of class participants on my first day. The room was filled with elderly women most of whom didn’t have an interest in food or cooking, or they were just plain tired of cooking. They’d done enough of that in their lives and seemed a little dubious at first. But as I listened to and watched Sumayya interact with these women and she got them chopping and sautéing, I saw a sea change sweep the room. One of the women was talking about how she had never used a red pepper before in her life. Another was won over to actually liking cilantro after claiming a distaste. And yet another participant found herself asking for seconds on a dish, surprising everyone in the room who knew her to be an incredibly light eater.
I would see this same sense of community and shift in energy in the room each time I volunteered. I would wind my way in and out of the participants, gathering their compostables, washing knives, cutting boards, and anything else I could get my hands on. It felt like I was providing a needed service. I was allowing Sumayya to focus on the food and the people while I focused on ensuring people had what they needed to be successful.
One of my favourite parts of each class was when the students sat down at the end and collectively shared the dishes they had prepared. There was a lot of talk, laughter and head nods as people dove into their dishes. Most of which they had never tried before that day. I think that is the aim of Kaleyard, creating community around great food. I will definitely try to volunteer with them again and would love to be a part of their continued success.
As a human nutrition & dietetic student from Glasgow Caledonian University, I was looking for a volunteer opportunity involving food in the community. With experience as an NHS ward volunteer for over three years assisting at patient mealtimes and promoting eating well, I was keen to build capabilities outwith the healthcare environment. I was first attracted to working with Kaleyard after seeing their strap line Cook – Eat – Share, which embodies the social aspect of food from the kitchen to the table. The ability to appreciate the different cultural foods available and how to prepare these dishes is invaluable knowledge adding to my studies.
At Kaleyard, I volunteered at their Masterclass events, where attendees participate in hands-on cooking of authentic dishes from around the world, including Spanish Vegan, Scottish Pakistani, and Vietnamese Street food. My role involved setting up the kitchen, arranging ingredients, welcoming participants, clearing work areas throughout the event, and assisting in making it an enjoyable experience. Up and coming shifts include community events, Christmas Baking, and a Burns Day Special in the New Year.
Kaleyard, as a non-profit cook school, embodies the joy of cooking with the development of skills to encourage people in the community to add variety to their food choices and improve the quality of the dishes featuring in their diet. The concept of Kaleyard as a sustainable kitchen minimising food waste and maximising all aspects of the food we eat is particularly important to the current climate situation. I look forward to working with Sumayya Usmani, Kaleyard's founder, other volunteers and guest chefs at future events.
I used to volunteer a lot more than I currently do. Moving to Scotland from America presented its fair share of challenges: getting re qualified, moving house, finding steady work and making friends were all things consuming my life. But early this year, I stumbled on Kaleyard at a moment in my life when I really needed some inspiration. Cooking has long been a refuge of mine, and I knew there had to be a way where I could fuse this passion with my desire to give back to my community.
I attended a Kaleyard community cooking class as a volunteer. Our guests were older gentlemen, a demographic that often faces devastating loneliness. The men were great sports, and several had some good experience in the kitchen. A few were intimidated by the prospect of chopping onions, but Sumayya made sure they took on tasks they could handle and enjoy. One gentleman in particular was more interested in serenading us with his lovely old-time songs. I came away feeling revived, happy- and full of Sumayya’s delicious food.
Kaleyard is also a place of refuge. It is inclusive and Sumayya takes pains to make sure everyone at any skill level is able to participate and prepare our shared meal. Breaking bread is a timeless way of meeting and bonding with our neighbors and Kaleyard has done it with ease and flair. I’m grateful for the opportunity to give back through such a unique charity.
This is his story:
I’ve had a troubled background including a spell in prison and substance misuse. I knew I wanted more out of life so I sought help – and I found it with Street Connect. This is a wonderful organisation who works with people like me and helps us to believe we are capable of more than we ever thought possible.
I was referred to Street Connect by Winchester House in the Scottish Borders. This is the place and the people where I got my life together. I found friendship, faith and the tools to ensure I lived the best life I could.
It’s a journey – and the road can be bumpy at times – but I’m doing so well now.
I got involved with Street Connect, who offer support to people with a whole lot of complex issues. They offered support and understanding when I needed it most. They helped me to find the Taster course at Volunteer Glasgow. This programme is so much more than trying out volunteering. It helps with overcoming loneliness, making new friends, trying different things to see what you enjoy best, and have a greater awareness of the diverse support networks in Glasgow. I also realised that without volunteers, none of these excellent much needed services would exist.
Now I am quite active in a number of voluntary organisations that seek to make a difference in the local community. I am currently an Intern with Street Connect, where I split my time doing support work between Recovery café’s, Springburn AOG and Glasgow City Mission. I’m also part of a great new initiative called Glesga Roasters.
This is a not-for-profit small batch coffee roasting project, seeking to fuse three passions.
- Rehabilitation, mentoring and training towards employability for people coming out of the Criminal Justice System and breaking free from substance misuse issues
- •Sustainable development with our partners in Rwanda to produce and export high quality coffee.
- •Deep appreciation of and commitment to superb, ethically sourced, high quality artisan coffee.
We believe all people, despite their backgrounds, have the potential to flourish and contribute positively and productively to society and to transform the communities in which they live. Everyone deserves a 'second crack' at life. I’m so proud to be part of this great project
I’ve so many people to thank for helping me to get to where I am today. Julia & Ricky who founded Street Connect. Pastor James Faddes – Glesga Roasters. Jim McGlaughlin – Springburn Assembly ofGod. Jim Watson – Barista Training Academy. Davie Harper from Glasgow City Mission. Chic Kingsman from Broken Chains in Ayrshire. Francine from Volunteer Glasgow. Joe Whitelaw from Glasgow Council on Alcohol - Elevate.
Everyone can volunteer! Everyone can get support and help! Do it! You won’t regret it
Lewis recently joined the Aberlour Befriending Young Refugees service in Glasgow as a volunteer befriender. This service was developed to provide social and community support to the increasing number of unaccompanied children and young people arriving in Glasgow and works closely with our Scottish Guardianship Service in the city. A volunteer befriender will support unaccompanied children and young people to overcome the range of challenges often encountered such as language and cultural barriers, poor mental health, the impact of trauma and anxiety about living in a new community and a different country.
Lewis shares his experience of becoming a befriender and why he wished to help young people arriving in Glasgow without their families.
“I wanted to become a befriender with Aberlour as I was aware of the challenges refugees face in the UK. Volunteering as a befriender is an opportunity for me to help make a positive impact on a young person’s life, however small that might be. As I work from home everyday part of the appeal of becoming a befriender to me is its community focus and that it encourages me and my befriendee to take part in different activities in the city and surrounding area.”
“To become a befriender Aberlour provided great training. It was in-depth, relevant, and interesting, including not only useful information on processes, issues, and challenges a newly arrived refugee might experience but also practical guidance on the befriending role. The session on planning trips was a definite highlight. My favourite part was meeting the other volunteers and learning from them. The group was diverse, we all shared our ideas so lots of discussion and learning took place during every session.”
“My first match meeting with my befriendee was slightly nerve-racking but Sarah, the project co-ordinator, helped make the meeting easy and exciting. We were able to get a sense of one another, what the young person was interested in, and what they hoped to get out of the befriending scheme. I’ve been matched with a young person who speaks Arabic. He was referred to the project because he feels very low and finds it hard to leave the house, his Guardian was worried that he was becoming isolated.”
“For our first meeting, we went to play pool in Glasgow city centre, which was my befriendee’s idea. The language barrier is tricky sometimes but playing games together meant we didn’t need to talk all the time. It was a relaxed couple of hours which we both enjoyed. I am looking forward to developing my relationship with my befriendee and helping Glasgow become their home.”
I first began volunteering whilst at University, placed in two very different Organisations by the Student Volunteer Service at Glasgow University. Once established in my future career within the NHS, I wanted to volunteer in a role working with young people. I knew I’d never have children of my own, but was sure I could offer positive support to a young person, so was delighted when a friend told me about the Young Persons Befriending Service, delivered under the umbrella organisation of Volunteer Glasgow.
After a period of training, I was carefully matched to my first young person, and guided by my allocated support worker. That was back in 2007 and I’ve been working with my current young person for just over six years. We enjoy weekly visits, doing a range of activities based on common interests. Our objective is to have fun, whilst meeting the goals of the befriending match. These goals can range from being a positive, consistent adult to building confidence or providing a break from their normal routine.
As a young person’s befriender, I’ve learned new skills of working with a variety of young people whilst having a lot of fun. I’ve been able to share ideas with fellow volunteers and have had the privilege of working with some great young people and watching them grow and flourish over the years. I’ve even been very fortunate to meet one of my young people years since we last saw each other, and finding that they were now doing youth work.
I’ve enjoyed building an important and trusting relationship with my current young person. When I asked him to reflect on what befriending has meant to him, he told me that having a befriender has made a big difference to his confidence, his ability to manage his emotions and his relationships with adults and other young people. He is now happy to make choices and decisions for himself and has been able to secure a college place and succeed in his chosen course.
At home, his family have noticed that he is more assured, has a reliable friend and someone else to talk to and share with. He’s benefited from access to a range of activities, and time out of his house gives his family some respite and breathing space. From a time when he was isolated within his community, he now has a much more positive outlook on life and is better placed to cope with life as a young adult.
Volunteering as a befriender is of tremendous benefit to everyone involved and is very much needed in our city. There are a huge range of volunteering opportunities in Glasgow- why not take the time to see what you could give back? For just a few hours a week, you could make a huge difference! Volunteer Glasgow will be happy to help!
My name is Rhys Donnelly and I live in Glasgow. I started volunteering for the Stroke Association in July 2019. I recently completed a Forensic Psychobiology degree from the University of Abertay, Dundee and have secured a place on the MSc Clinical Health Psychology programme at the University of Strathclyde. I’m aiming to pursue a career in Clinical Neuropsychology with a special focus on stroke and dementia and am currently volunteering with the Stroke Association in Scotland. I volunteer to give back to the community and gain hands-on experience in communicating with people affected by stroke to help prepare me for my future career.
I started my volunteering journey with the Stroke Association in Scotland as a group secretary with the Glasgow Speakability Aphasia self-help group. I support the group with secretarial duties as well as being an active participant at the group’s meetings and outings. I find this role to be very rewarding as it gives me the opportunity to support people facing the daunting task of returning to their lives with a communication disability but it also allows me to hear about every member’s individual triumphs and improvements. The group gives members a place to be with others facing similar issues to them and enjoy discussions and activities. Furthermore, this role has given me a much deeper understanding of how aphasia can impact someone’s life in ways which are usually not thought about.
In addition to this role I then began a second role as a My Stroke Guide Buddy in August to promote the Stroke Association’s online resource ‘My Stroke Guide’ in hospitals and community settings. Through this role I have the pleasure to demonstrate the guide to patients, family and friends and showing them what information is available and how straightforward the guide is to use.
My role as a My Stroke Guide Buddy is very satisfying as I feel that the response so far from the people affected by stroke has been extremely positive. This role has allowed me to speak to people at a very stressful and difficult time in their lives and in some ways provide a little bit of hope that they are not alone in this journey and there are people who can help them rebuild their life after stroke.
I started to volunteer as I wanted to do something productive with my evenings. I searched for opportunities online and I came across Volunteer Glasgow. The site was brilliant. It felt like a one stop shop where I could search for an organisation I was interested in and topics that meant something to me.
During my search I came across the Young Persons Befriending Service. It sounded amazing! In that I could be a kid again and do fun activities, but most importantly I would be able to see the impact my volunteering had first hand.
I got matched with my Young Person 4 years ago when they were shy, anxious, low in confidence and had trouble in school. In the past 4 years we have met up every week. We go to a café and have hot chocolate & cake. We go to the cinema or bowling. We go for walks or play tennis in the local park. On special occasions we save up and go to Stirling Castle or Go karting.
During the past 4 years I have had great fun but I also have a great sense of pride and achievement. I can see first hand the difference 2 hours of my time has made to a Young Person. As my Young Person is now a confident teenager who is doing well at school and have a great group of friends.
I can’t wait to see what the next 4 years look like for us.
My name is Lilian and I’m a fully trained and qualified Counsellor/Therapist currently volunteering as a Counsellor with Cruse Bereavement in Glasgow.
Seventeen years ago, in 2002, I arrived home from my job as an English & Special Needs Teacher to find my younger son Daniel, then aged just 21, delirious in bed.
He appeared not to recognize me. I immediately called our Doctor who sent an ambulance to take Daniel to the Royal Infirmary: he quickly deteriorated and he was kept sedated as he started to suffer massive and uncontrollable fits so he was transferred to the Southern General Neurological Department where we watched him die after six days in which the medics gave him what they called “..industrial doses of drugs” as they realized he was gravely ill but with no discernible cause.
Indeed, no cause was ever found but we were told that he had contracted a virus which entered his brain. My family and Daniel’s friends were devastated as he was a fit, healthy young man prior to this. As his mother, I had to try to deal with my own grief as well as supporting my other two children and his girlfriend.
It felt like a surreal nightmare and I remember carrying his ashes home in an urn but not being able to relate this to the handsome, fit boy my son had been just a few weeks earlier!
I learned a lot about myself at that time and I clearly remembered Daniel saying, weeks before he became ill, that I should start doing the Reiki Healing which I used to practice and also that I should never become a ‘couch potato’!
I took him at his word and decided that I could help others going through the shock and stress of bereavement through counselling: many years prior to this I had been involved with Cruse as a Counsellor and I decided to undertake a Diploma in Counselling at Glasgow University and return to Cruse armed with personal experience of grief and loss and with a professional qualification.
I now volunteer for Cruse as a Counsellor and I find that I can fully understand what people are going through when a loved one dies having experienced the devastation, the feelings of denial, anger and disbelief which often accompany such a loss, and the surreal feeling that you may be going mad as thoughts and feelings rush through you as you try to come to terms with the grief and loss.
I feel that I can look people in the eye as I have been there myself and I can offer reassurance that the bereaved person can ultimately come through this life-changing experience!
I love volunteering at Cruse and I feel it is immensely satisfying to be of service to others when they are at their lowest point and trying to make sense of life and death.
Many people find it too expensive to go to a private Counsellor but they can come to Cruse and pay whatever they can afford as it is a Charity and that means many people attend who have little or no income yet they know they will be received and listened to in full confidence.
That makes volunteering supremely worthwhile for me.