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An Introduction to Being Active in the Community.

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Presentation on theme: "An Introduction to Being Active in the Community."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Introduction to Being Active in the Community

2 AIM: To provide an overview of what ‘Being Active’ means and an explanation as to the process of becoming an Active Citizen LEARNING OUTCOMES Understand what Being Active means Understand the different ways that you can be active Understand the benefits of Being Active Understand the opportunities that are available to you Additional knowledge for those wishing to Be Active Knowledge of how the registration and recruitment process works

3 What does Being Active mean? Exercise 1: Can you answer ‘YES’ to any of the following?

4 Have you ever helped a neighbour with their shopping? Have you ever taken part in a campaign to change or improve something in your neighbourhood? Have you ever answered a questionnaire about the quality of a public service you receive? Do you get involved in community events? ? ??

5 If you answered Yes to any of the questions, though you may not realise it, you are an active citizen! Being active is about: Being involved in your community Having your say, and expressing your views Taking part in the decisions that affect you

6 The different ways you can Be Active GOOD NEIGHBOUR – Helping a neighbour, responding to the needs of friends or acquaintances CITIZEN GOVERNOR – Lay Magistrate, School Governor, Charity Trustee, Housing Association Board Member MANAGED VOLUNTEER – working in a charity shop, desk administration, befriending schemes CONSULTED CITIZEN – View Giver, Community Council, completing surveys COMMUNITY ACTIVIST – Campaigner, organising a network, discussion forums, lobbying COMMUNITY GROUP MEMBER – Women's group, art club, gardening club

7 What is a Community Group Member? Someone who is part of either an organised community group or an informal collection of people who come together for a purpose or unite around an issue. E.g. citizens may be part of a regular play group to which they bring their children.

8 What is a Consulted Citizen / View Giver? Public bodies such as Southwark Council, Southwark Primary Care Trust or Transport for London want to involve people and communities in improving the planning and delivery of the services they provide. They consult people by engaging with them and asking them what they think. Public bodies can engage with people via public meetings, citizen panels, media forums, workshops, surgeries, public exhibitions, surveys / questionnaires What should I expect as a Consulted Citizen / View Giver?

9 What is a Managed Volunteer? Exercise 2: FACTS & MYTHS Sort through the cards provided and divide the facts from the myths about volunteering. When you have finished stick them up on the flip chart paper.

10 Definition: Volunteering is generally described as an unpaid activity where someone gives their time to help an organisation or an individual who they are not related to.

11 The differences between a volunteer and an employee You do not get paid (but you may get your expenses met You do not have a contract of employment, but a volunteer’s agreement Roles are more flexible and ‘tailor made’ As a volunteer:

12 Similarities between a volunteer and an employee You have to go through an application process You may have to attend an interview You are working within a role description You have a supervisor/manager You will have the initial challenges of getting to know people and feeling comfortable with what you are doing You have to work within an organisation’s policies and procedures You are a representative of that organisation

13 What should I expect as a Volunteer? You should have an induction where you are told about the organisation and where policies are explained to you – You should be told who your supervisor is and how to contact them. It is important that you have a named supervisor who you can go to with any problems or queries. You should receive adequate training to be able to carry out your role. The exact nature of the training you receive will depend on the role, but you will probably need at least basic training about the tasks that you will be doing. Reimbursement of expenses Insurance cover A reference

14 Opportunities available to you Office – Develop your IT, administrative and research skills Marketing/Media – Desktop publishing skills, opportunities in press, PR and event management Community Work – Areas such as regeneration, community consultation, organisational support, business advice, Black Minority Ethnic work and disability support Advice work – If you want to gain counselling and advice skills you could do so volunteering on telephone help lines, at a Citizen Advice Bureau, advice and advocacy projects

15 More opportunities… Business, management or support – Skills in HR, marketing and fundraising Teaching & Training – Develop skills through helping with Adult or child education projects, including sport Children & young people – Within schools; teachers assistant, homework clubs, mentoring or summer schemes (CRB) Practical – Gardening, bricklaying, decorating, house building Social care – (care of elderly, mental health, homelessness and disabilities

16 Who can be an Active Citizen? The simple answer is: You do not need any previous experience or special skills to volunteer Think about what special experiences you can bring with you ANYONE!

17 What are the benefits of Being Active and volunteering? “Improve the quality of life in you community” “Gain new skills” “Builds confidence and self esteem” “Influencing /changing something in your area” “IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH” “Have fun!” “Meet new people” “Help People” “Improve relations between different communities in your area”

18 More benefits… “FREE TRAINING could cost you £££ otherwise” “Could be your first step into employment” “EXCELLENT REFERENCES” “You get the chance to check out whether this area is right for you” “Stops your skills from going rusty” “Experience different Cultures” “Ease yourself back into work” “Build up contacts to help find a paid job”

19 Why do organisations want to involve Active Citizens? By involving volunteer’s the community is given a voice and the community has a stake in what the organisation does / delivers Volunteer’s can steer and shape services Community cohesion – building links with other groups To respond to a specific service / need

20 Why does the government want to encourage Being Active? Community Empowerment White Paper, Communities in Control: Real People, Real Power sets out government’s commitment to encouraging active citizenship with measures such as extending the duty to involve and the duty on local authorities to respond to petitions. WHY? –Greater understanding of how government works –Greater understanding of the reasons for decisions –Greater ownership of decisions. Local authorities are better able to respond to local needs through engagement with people

21 Obstacles to Being Active “Is there a minimum age for Being Active?” “Maybe I can’t find the time” “Will Being Active cost me anything?” “Will Being Active affect my benefit payments?” “Do I need to hold a UK passport or be a British national to volunteer?” “What if I am ill one day?” “I don’t have any skills” “There is nothing I feel passionate about”

22 Registration & Application

23 Registration & Application VOLUNTEERING 1.Register with your local Volunteer Centre 2.We will send you 8-15 opportunities that match your interests / needs 3.Read through the role descriptions, days/time needed, location etc 4.Select your preferred roles and phone contact person 5.Ask any questions (such as whether support and training are provided) 6.Decide which opportunity best matches your needs / interests and apply for it

24 The Recruitment Process Interview / informal chats References –(academic, professional, family) CRB checks Training and induction

25 1.Register with the Active Citizen Hub 2.Contact or attend your local Community Council meeting 3.Join a network – who else is interested in the same thing? 4.Go on to further training at the Active Citizen Hub Becoming Active:

26 Important questions to ask yourself 1.Why do you want to be an Active Citizen? 2.What do you want to gain from this experience? 3.Can you commit to the time/days you have agreed to? 4.What group of people would you like to help?

27 Myths and Stereotypes Have we covered all of the facts and myths brought up earlier in the training session?

28 Next steps Complete registration forms and send to: Volunteer Centre Southwark FREEPOST Lon London SE1 9BR Tel: / Web:

29 AIM: To provide an overview of what Being Active means and an explanation as to the process of becoming an Active Citizen LEARNING OUTCOMES Understand what Being Active means Understand the different ways that you can be active Understand the benefits of Being Active Understand the opportunities that are available to you Additional knowledge for those wishing to Be Active Knowledge of how the registration and recruitment process works

30 Our Contact Details Tel: / Web: Web:


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