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Bolsover Volunteering Project
Project CompleteOver 130 local people received help to undertake a volunteering opportunity through this project. Volunteers received support and training to improve their skills, experience, and increase their self confidence in seeking paid work. A volunteers’ awards ceremony was held to mark the end of the project and recognise the contribution made by volunteers and volunteer involving organisations. WNF for this project has now ceased but the volunteering offer within the district will be considered within the Work and Skills Plan.

Volunteering Project Main

Volunteering Project



About the project...

This project aimed to increase the employability, skills and confidence of local people through the provision of high quality volunteering opportunities. 

A full time project worker was responsible for identifying and developing a range of volunteering opportunities, ensuring that volunteers that were recruited, placed, and supported, benefited from appropriate personal and professional development opportunities and best practice models.

An additional part time project worker recruited volunteers to act as community health champions to work with their peers in order to promote and adopt healthier lifestyles.

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Volunteering Project Contacts


Project Manager

Volunteering Development Worker Community Health Champion Co-ordinator

Lorna Wallace
Chief Executive Officer
Kitchen Croft
Oxcroft Lane
S44 6NF
Tel: 01246 823852

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Carl Siddall
Kitchen Croft
Oxcroft Lane
S44 6NF
Tel: 01246 823852
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Open pdf documentFinal Evaluation Report
Open pdf documentVolunteer Placement Opportunities from January 2012

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Volunteering Project - Case Studies

Volunteer J

Volunteer J was referred to Bolsover Volunteering project via his local job centre and met with a member of the team at the monthly sessions held at Bolsover Job Centre.

J had always worked in the construction industry but due to an injury was no longer able to work within this field and was looking at ways to improve his skills and qualifications so that he may look for work in an alternative area possibly in a support or administrative role. We were able to offer J roles within Citizens Advice Bureau and CVP, and started the application process for both. In addition we were also able to secure J a place on a level 3 Course Introduction to Trainer Skills, through the Raising Aspirations project delivered by CVP, which would help him in his volunteer roles and support him when looking to secure paid employment. In February J gained the 7300 qualification and is currently volunteering as a Community Learning Champion whilst awaiting confirmation of a role within Citizens Advice Bureau.



When first referred, this young man was unemployed with no work experience whatsoever.  He was interviewed at Shirebrook Work Club and although he was quiet and reserved, he had good communication skills.  He had recently completed NVQ Level 2 in Painting and Decorating as well as Maths and English.  His qualifications needed to be substantiated with experience for him to progress into employment and be accepted in the trade.

DIY opportunities on V-base were somewhat limited, but investigations resulted in an opportunity to do some painting for the Langwith Society, whose Heritage Centre in the former Methodist Chapel was closing down.  In order for it to be handed back in good order some painting and repairs were required.  The volunteer agreed initially to do two days’ work, with the possibility of some further work.  He was visited whilst carrying out his tasks and was spoken of favourably by the Langwith Society’s representative.

Nearby Rhubarb Farm also required some painting following the construction of offices and the refurbishment of their café.  The volunteer agreed to carry out this work with the agreement of the Langwith Society.

A few weeks later the volunteer was contacted to follow up his progress.  He was delighted to report that he would be taking up employment with Asda in Chesterfield.  Although he was a little disappointed that he had not yet found employment as a Painter and Decorator, his volunteering experience helped him to secure work by motivating his efforts and impressing his new employer.

The over-riding proof of his commitment to volunteering was, without doubt, his decision to complete the work he had undertaken with the Langwith Society at weekends after he had commenced employment.


Volunteer 308

Vol 308 was very low on confidence when she had her first volunteer interview.  She’d had a particularly hard few years, had to cope with immense mental strain and was not sure that she was ready for employment although said that she would like to find a job in the near future.  To this end we looked into her interests and what career she would like.  She said that she had a passion for caring for people and would like to gain work experience.

The volunteer was placed at a day care centre for the elderly that very week and attended her interview the week after.  She made a great impression and started her volunteering soon after her CRB check had been conducted.

Since commencing volunteering with the centre, she has enjoyed her role and finds it very interesting.  She reports that her confidence has increased massively during the last few months, so much so that she has taken part in public speaking, something she would never have dreamed of doing before she started volunteering.  She also states that before her volunteer work she would only put her confidence at 5/10, now she says this is at least 8/10.

A positive outcome is that she is now certain she would like a career in a care setting.  She is now actively applying for jobs in the sector and we are currently looking into training opportunities that will help her to achieve her goal.

Her volunteer co-ordinator has been very impressed by her efforts remarking that her confidence has markedly improved since she started and that “service users love her”.  Indeed the volunteer co-ordinator stated that without volunteers like Vol 308 they would not be able to offer anywhere like the number of activities they do currently which would naturally be to the detriment of service users.

Volunteer 283

Volunteer 283 was referred from Jobcentre Plus in January 2011. She had been unemployed for some time and was looking for a way to return to work. When we met for her interview we discussed the type of career she would like and volunteering opportunities she might be interested in. It was during this discussion she revealed that she had previously suffered from mental illness and would like to use this experience, and her desire to help people, to work in a care setting.

In order to assist her in her long term goal I called Shirevale Day Centre who upon interviewing her offered her a volunteer placement. This placement has been beneficial not only for the volunteer who has gained confidence and experience of care work but also for the Day Centre who report that the volunteer has an interest in crafts which is beneficial to what they do at the centre and they are very pleased with the contribution the volunteer has made to them. The volunteer is a great example of how volunteering can improve confidence, skills and employability.


Volunteer 275

Volunteer 275 decided to volunteer as she was low on confidence but wanted to gain employment.  She discussed the options and decided to join “Connecting Families” in a voluntary capacity.  Not only did this help to improve her skills in areas like using computers and interpersonal skills it also vastly improved her confidence.  She especially enjoyed the administration side of the volunteer opportunity and decided that this was an area that she would like to pursue.

Whilst volunteering she heard about an Apprenticeship in Administration.  She applied and was successful in her application and now works 27 hours per week.  She feels that had she not undertaken volunteering work she would not have gained the confidence to be able to apply for the Apprenticeship let alone be accepted.  She is now looking forward to commencing her NVQ in Administration and pursuing a successful career in paid employment.


Trina WellorTrina Wellor

I’m Trina Wellor, and I live in Langwith and have two grown up children.  I used to work in an office background, but that was some time ago, and I thought that volunteering would give me experience in new technology and build my confidence.  Just a couple of weeks after joining the Bolsover Volunteering Programme I was assigned a Volunteer Admin Assistant placement in Shirebrook.   Four months later, I applied for a vacancy within the same organisation and am now employed as a paid member of staff.

I also work voluntarily in the charity shop called snappabargain at Langwith, which I enjoy very much. Volunteer work is a great thing to do for yourself and for your local community and I encourage other people to get involved.



Mr R.

Mr R came to the Bolsover Volunteering Project in January 2010, following a referral from Jobcentre Plus. He had been out of work for several years having previously run his own business offering IT support to businesses. Mr R was frustrated after applying for IT and tutor jobs only to be told that he no longer had relevant qualifications or experience. I meet with him and discussed his previous experience, what barriers he was facing in accessing work and how these could be overcome.

Initially we focused on addressing the gap in his CV by looking to identify a volunteer opportunity that would allow him to build his CV and current experience. We identified an opportunity within Elmton and Creswell Village Company as a Community Learning Champion/Tutor supporting individuals with IT training.  Later that month he started his volunteer role, supported by myself and the volunteer co-ordinator for Elmton and Creswell Village Company. Following on from securing the volunteer placement we then went on to look at what qualifications were required in order to be a tutor.  It was identified that he needed a PTTLS level 4 Qualification and that Derbyshire Learning and Development Consortium had a course scheduled for July 2010.  However, there was a cost attached to the course which Mr R could not afford.  To overcome this barrier, we contacted the Family Employment Initiative who were able to support him to access some funding to enable him to go on this course.  In July 2010, he successfully achieved his qualification which, coupled with the experience he gained at Elmton and Creswell Village Company, enabled him to secure a Sessional Tutors position at Elmton and Creswell Village Company as well as a part time post as a Web Administrator for Rentin Group.  Mr R said “my volunteer role helped me to find part time work.”


Sharon Banson from LangwithSharon Banson

Sharon Banson had been unemployed for over two years before she took up her volunteer role at snappabargain, a local retail shop in Langwith. Her volunteer role involves a variety of activities including sorting and pricing stock, cleaning both the stock and general up keep of the shop, putting items out for display, and assisting customers.  In addition she has helped out in the kitchen and is looking to do her food hygiene course with the Langwith Society.

Prior to commencing her volunteering placement, she described her daily activity as just moping around the house, however since taking up the role she has developed the drive and motivation to volunteer three days a week.  Sharon enjoys the various roles she undertakes as part of her volunteering placement as it gives her variety as well as gaining experience of various aspects of shop work. Sharon has been able to use the experience that she has gained to update her CV and  complete job applications to show potential employers the experience she has to offer.  She was recently successful in securing a job interview as a result of her volunteer experience, and now has a reference to use on job applications as well.

“The volunteer role at Snappabargain has given me experience in retail and catering, which I now use on my CV and when applying for jobs, to show potential employers that I am motivated and have relevant experience”

In looking towards the future, Sharon will continue to volunteer and build on the skills and confidence that she has developed until she successfully secures employment.


Volunteer 21


Volunteer 21 is a 42 year old female referred to the Bolsover Volunteering project by Jobcentre Plus (JCP) in September 2009.  Vol21 has been out of full time employment for 11 years whilst bringing up her children.  She had undertaken some part time and seasonal work, but was now keen to return to full time employment. The original referral from JCP stated that she was looking for office work so was keen to volunteer in an administrative position, and had recently undertaken some training in Clait and text pro.  However, after completing the registration form and going through a personal development plan it became clear that her real interest lay in a childcare environment. Vol21 advised that she had previously worked as a dance tutor and kids club leader prior to raising her family and had a desire to return to this type of work by training as a class room assistant. She was looking to volunteering as a way to regain her confidence by working in a childcare setting and gaining valuable experience.

Vol21 had no access to private transport so we limited the search to childcare opportunities within the local area and an opportunity was identified within a local Children’s centre. I advised the client about children’s centres, the types of activities they carry out and the varied volunteer roles that they offer.  I also discussed the opportunity to enrol on the VCI Passport training provided through CVP and Derbyshire County council, which is recognised as something that all people volunteering with children should strive to achieve.  Furthermore, I also provided her with a copy of the JCP booklet on volunteering and her obligation to advise JCP when she starts volunteering and to keep records of all receipts.

Following a discussion around availability/commitment, experience and what she wanted to achieve through volunteering Vol21 took the decision that she would like to speak with the Volunteer Co-ordinator for Children’s Centres to discuss the opportunity further and have a look around the Centre.  I contacted the Co-ordinator with Vol21 present and arranged for an informal meeting.

Since then Vol21 has accepted a voluntary position helping out at sessions with the Children’s Centre, and has successfully completed the VCI passport scheme, which she really enjoyed.  She is also undergoing some crèche training with the Children’s Centre. Vol21 has enjoyed volunteering within the Children’s Centre so much that she is trying out other roles and has recently taken on an additional volunteer role at another Centre as an assistant librarian, which draws on some of the administrative skills she has as well as providing her with an opportunity to gain practical experience of interacting with and supporting young children and their parents. Vol21 has gained a lot of confidence as a result of volunteering, through opportunities to interact with other adults and the experience of working with a team.   Vol21 believes that as she continues to develop within her volunteering role and gain further experience, she will achieve her goal of gaining employment in a childcare setting.

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Volunteering Project - Outputs


Outputs 08/09

Unemployed people gaining employment

  1 4 8 13

16-18 year olds going into education, training or employment (that were previously NEET)

      2 2
Working age population achieving an NVQ Level 2 or equivalent   1 14 17 32

Employees benefiting from training

  55 34 135 224
Volunteering opportunities created   9 27 107 143
Accessing volunteering opportunities   38 40 54 132
People on out of work benefits supported with their health needs   31 87 421 539
Volunteers completing VCI course   21 37 40 98
New Community Health Champions     13 0 13
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Volunteering Project - Archive


2011/12 Year End

Project staff continued to provide advice and information to potential volunteers on volunteer opportunities available locally, including CVP, Derbyshire County Council, Creswell Crag’s and Muscular Dystrophy. In addition, one volunteer has gone onto secure employment with Bolsover District Council as an ICT apprentice. Project staff have attended monthly sessions at Bolsover and Shirebrook Job Centres to discuss volunteering opportunities with people referred directly from the Job Centre. 

A ‘Volunteers and the Law’ training session was held during Quarter 4 for volunteer co-ordinators and was attended by representatives from 18 different organisations.

A volunteers’ awards ceremony was held to mark the end of the project and recognise the contribution made by volunteers and volunteer involving organisations throughout the duration of the project. WNF for this project has now ceased and work will be undertaken as part of the development of the Work and Skills Plan to look at the volunteering offer within the district and any potential for widening scope/access to volunteering.

2011/12 Quarter 3

The project has reported that the Community Health Champion role has been absorbed by the Volunteering project since the worker left in October last year. The project has investigated potential training opportunities for new volunteers and decided that the most appropriate would be a training course on delivering advice, information and guidance, along with a general induction session on the role of the Community Health Champion.

The project has identified a significant number of volunteering opportunities this quarter, however, the project has reported that there are often delays in formalising new opportunities. This impacts on securing placements for interested volunteers.

2011/12 Quarter 2

Additional staff resource has been brought in to improve outcomes in relation to the number of people being placed in a volunteer opportunity.  The project has reported that partnership working with other organisations such as Raising Aspirations and the Family Employment Initiative has been particularly productive.  A week of workshops with the former resulted in all but two of the 19 attendees being recruited, whilst weekly attendance at Shirebrook and more recently Bolsover Work Clubs has been very fruitful.

A project evaluation has been completed and findings/recommendations will be fed back to the Technical Group at a future meeting. It is anticipated that next quarter will concentrate on the placement and support of volunteers.

The project has reported that staff sickness has impacted on the number of Community Health Champions (CHC) recruited this quarter. Existing CHCs have continued to support people; however, paperwork is not in place to be able to count against this outcome. N.B. Although achievement against this target is monitored, this element of the programme is not funded through the Work Neighbourhoods Fund.

2011/12 Quarter 1

There have been some staff changes at the beginning of Q2.  A new full time dedicated member of staff will take over responsibility for working with individuals and supporting them into volunteering.  Another member of staff will work 2 days per week working with organisations to support and develop volunteering opportunities. 

The targets for this project this year are very high and need to be reviewed and monitored carefully – this is due to underperformance in previous years which has been carried forward.  A new process is being implemented and evidence at different stages being developed which will hopefully move this project in the right direction, following progress which has not been satisfactory to date.

Independent consultants have been appointed and are currently carrying out interviews as part of the WNF evaluation.

2010/11 Year End

Over the 2010/11 period the Bolsover Volunteering Project has performed well against many of its output targets.  Of most significance is the underperformance against the target of the number of people accessing volunteering.  There are a number of forthcoming opportunities however which the project intends to capitalise on and drive up the interest and participation locally in volunteering.  Furthermore, the project has reported that clients referred to the project often require a significant amount of support prior to being ready to commence a volunteering opportunity.

New developments include liaising with Willow Tree Farm to create an opportunity for those interested in volunteering outdoors as well as beginning to work closely with Limestone Journeys. This is an important partnership for Bolsover Volunteering Project as it will allow the project to offer more opportunities in areas such as history, heritage, archaeology and outside activities.

During Quarter 4 the project recruited six Community Health Champions.

2010/11 Quarter 3

Achievement of outputs in Quarter 3 was down against profile.  Concerns have been discussed with CVP’s Chief Executive Officer and a strategic plan for all Working Neighbourhoods Funded (WNF) projects has been produced with some assurance that all outputs, with the exception of the economic outputs, will be achieved.

Greater links with CVP’s other WNF initiatives are being made as well with ideas being explored in order to increase the number of volunteering opportunities within the district, for example, in the field of horticulture, linking in with Limestone Journeys.

It has been agreed that Bolsover Volunteering Project will be the approved provider for the Work Together programme for the Job Centres in Shirebrook, Bolsover and Alfreton.  For Bolsover Volunteering Project this means that Jobcentre Plus will signpost all claimants interested in volunteering to CVP.

2010/11 Quarter 2

Some outputs have been significantly exceeded, for example, the number of new volunteering opportunities created was 17 in Quarter 2 against a target of three.  In the main, this has been due to other projects funded through the Working Neighburhoods Fund (WNF) being able to create volunteering opportunities to complement paid workers, e.g. the Financial Inclusion Project.

The number of people accessing a volunteering opportunity is down against target and this is reflective of the time and support that is required by individuals before they are in a position to be able to access a voluntary placement.  It is hoped that this figure will increase over the next months as the Government’s introduction of Work Together means that the Bolsover Volunteering Project will become Jobcentre Plus’ key referral agency for Bolsover individuals on out of work benefits interested in volunteering.  Greater links with other initiatives and WNF projects are also being made in an attempt to increase numbers of people participating in volunteering.

Carl Siddal, the new Community Health Champion Worker is now in post and has been actively recruiting new Champions, achieving seven in Quarter 2.

2010/11 Quarter 1

Progress against outputs was varied this quarter.  Discussions have recently taken place with CVP regarding the project and an Action Plan has been produced to address areas of underachievement.  The Community Health Champion Worker was recruited in Quarter 1 so this will start having a positive impact on the health related outputs from next quarter.  Revised targets for the underperforming outputs have been agreed.

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