VOLUNTEER COLUMN: Use your spare time wisely and lend a hand

Do you have some spare time that you could give to a local organisation?

You could make a big difference to a local charity or community group just by giving a small amount of your time; and you could try new things, meet new people and have fun doing it.

Have a look at www.do-it.org for lots more opportunities to get involved.

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Play area volunteer – HM Prison Ford

Volunteers are required to supervise and provide interesting/appropriate activities for visiting children within the play area of the social visits hall of the prison.

The play area is set out in a welcoming and attractive way; volunteers greet and talk with the children and their parents.

Activities include playing with toys and use of craft materials.

Visits are on Sunday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 2pm to 4pm.

Volunteers can commit to one or more sessions, ideally once a fortnight.

Experience of working/being with children in a family environment (aged from one to 14) would be useful, but training will be given.

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Event organiser – The West Sussex Mediation Service

The West Sussex Mediation Service mediates for neighbours or families in dispute – i.e. noisy or inconsiderate neighbours, boundary/hedge disputes, problems with parking, ball games, pets, rubbish and disagreements over shared driveways.

There is a need to develop new funding streams that will include fundraising through events.

Examples might be encouraging fundraising participants in fun runs, marathons, and sporting challenges, and arranging social events such as balls, car boot sales, fun days, charity auctions or smaller low-key events such as local fetes.

Experience is not required, but would be an advantage.

All that is needed is enthusiasm and energy.

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Drivers and trustees – Arun Co-ordinated Community Transport

Arun Co-ordinated Community Transport provides easy, affordable transport to people who are unable to use public transport by means of minibuses, a dial-a-ride service and a social car scheme.

They are looking for drivers to drive their own cars, the dial-a-ride car or their minibus.

You must have a clean driving license and be flexible and outgoing.

They also need more trustees to help run the charity, to enable them to move forward due to an increase in bookings for the services.

No particular skills are required for this role but someone who has good ideas in fundraising would be a help.

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Bereavement counsellors, administrative support volunteers and fundraising support – Cruse Bereavement Care

Cruse Bereavement Care offers free and confidential counselling plus social support and practical advice for all those bereaved.

More volunteers are needed in the role of bereavement counsellors to counsel clients in their own home and using their own telephone.

You will need a good telephone manner, be a sympathetic listener and have general empathy towards the general public.

They also need administrative support volunteers to help with data input at their area office near Pulborough, and someone to help with their fundraising.

• For more information on any of the above roles, please call Volunteer Now! on 01243 864220, or visit www.do-it.org. For bite-sized volunteering of ten days or less please visit skillshare-westsussex.org.uk

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