Blog

Celebrating 200 applications to the Rochdale Respond, Repair and Recover Fund

We're delighted to announce we have now received 200 applications for our Rochdale Respond Repair and Recover fund since launching in March 2021! That includes a massive 29 applications in March 2022 alone.

The fund aims to support voluntary and community organisations to build back from the impacts of the Covid pandemic. We've been lucky to see so much great work happening across the Borough, and to be part of making it possible is absolutely brilliant.

The majority of applications we have received have been heavily focused around food support, which is unfortunately no surprise. This may be partly as a result of the increased cost of living, increases in fuel prices, and cutbacks to universal credit. Applications for food projects have been closely followed by projects to support healthy activity, practical support and help in the community, and emotional wellbeing, support and therapeutic projects.

The fund is open for applications, and we want to work with even more organisations across Rochdale Borough! Grants of up to £200 are available for individuals with a great community idea, or up to £5,000 for groups and organisations from the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise sector. We aim to make funding decisions within four weeks of your application.

Some of the groups we've funded

Army of Kindness have provided a lot of support around food, with weekly hot meals to the homeless and vulnerable. They have relied on volunteers and donations to provide dry and cooked meals to up to 100 people per week.

The Respond, Repair, and Recover funding is supporting Army of Kindness in buying food, ingredients, and managing food delivery across the borough. They are tackling food poverty and mental health challenges, and have developed their volunteers to identify any safeguarding issues with the people they support. As well as the food, it's an opportunity to spend quality time with people who may be isolated, listen to how their week has been, and offer a sense of belonging and connection. Army of Kindness also often support the carers of their beneficiaries with hot meals.

All applicants to the Respond, Repair, Recover fund are connected with Action Together's local thematic networks, such as our Food Solutions Network which brings together voluntary organisations, community groups and local services working in food support to share knowledge and work together to address the root causes of food inequality.

"Action Together have been instrumental in their support for our Soup Kitchen by enabling these hot food meals to be provided in Rochdale and beyond. We have supported homeless and refugee families and mainstream provisions within Rochdale too. We are grateful for your support, you have been a lifeline to many this past year."


Along with supporting adult carers throughout the pandemic, Carers Hub Rochdale have provided vital support to young carers aged 5-17. These young people have such big responsibilities and being able to meet and share their experiences is really important for their wellbeing.

During lockdown, the young carers could only meet online and missed in-person meet ups. Carers Hub have now restarted their face-to-face activities, but many of the young carers were unable to attend - often due to access to or cost of transport. Carers Hub applied for a grant from the Respond, Repair, Recover fund, and their successfuly application means they have funding to help the young carers come together and meet in-person again.


HMR Circle applied to the fund to enhance and diversify their food offer. They wanted to increase their Dinner Drivers (Meals-on-Wheels) service, as well as their Lunch Club-Clubs and Full Circle (meals and other food events in independent living).

The funding has also helped them engage more people in learning food preparation and in volunteering, either through acquiring new skills or assisting in other ways such as with the distribution of meals through the Dinner Drivers project.

One of their volunteers, Anna, began volunteering with Dinner Drivers after losing her job during the pandemic. From having no prior experience working in a kitchen before joining HMR Circle, Anna is now working at local restaurant Bombay Brew. This is a brilliant example of how voluntary organisations can benefit both the people they support and the people who volunteer with them. Find out more about Anna in In Your Area.


The Respond, Repair and Recover fund has enabled voluntary organisations across Rochdale Borough to provide services and projects for people who would otherwise be missed. The fund aims to help residents feel they have the support available that they need and they're not just a number on paper. By supporting voluntary groups, local people can look to them with confidence and trust, knowing they can get the help and support they need without restrictions.

We can help you find the funding you need. Speak to one of our team to find out about Respond, Repair and Recover and other funding sources available:

Can I CIC It?

We've recently received a number of enquiries from people interested in setting up a Community Interest Company, or CIC. There are lots of benefits to setting up as a CIC, as well as some challenges to think through.

We've written a guide to CICs below, and we've also recorded this video discussion between an experienced CIC and an organisation thinking of becoming a CIC, which has lots of great insights and advice. 

For advice on the best structure for your organisation, contact Action Together's Development team on 0161 339 2345 or development@actiontogether.org.uk

What is a CIC?

A CIC is a special type of limited company which exists to benefit the community rather than private shareholders.

How is a CIC different from a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)?

A CIC is a profit-making organisation that uses its profits for public good. That means a CIC is registered with Companies House rather than the Charity Commission. A CIC is taxed like a normal company, whereas a CIO can benefit from a wide range of charity tax concessions.

You can read a factsheet here for more information on the difference between the two.

What are the advantages of setting up a CIC?

  • Quick process: online applications can be processed in less than a week
  • Cost effective: currently costs £27 to register online
  • Simple registration: Registration only requires submission of Articles of Association and one other form: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-interest-companies-...
  • Directors: A CIC can have paid Directors, whereas charitable organisations are run by unpaid trustees

What are the disadvantages of setting up a CIC?

How do I set up a CIC?

Step by step guidance including a webinar and example documents can be found on the Office of the Regulator of CICs website.

Visit our YouTube page to watch a conversation between Marcus Abraham, who wanted to find out more about the pros and cons of setting up a CIC, and Dani Gaines, who runs a CIC.

Contact us to discuss what the right structure is for you! Call 0161 339 2345 or email development@actiontogether.org.uk

Working with Reach Church

Tameside Social Prescribing team with Reach Church

Reach Church are a modern, lively church based in Millbrook, Stalybridge. The church host activities for all ages, and we've worked with them on a number of projects recently:

Social Prescribing

Pictured above, Action Together's Tameside Social Prescribing team visited Reach recently to find out more about their activities, including Tiger Tots baby and toddler group and their Community Garden sessions. The team met with Andy and Jackie from the church to learn about the sessions, see the facility and hear about the impact the church is having in the community.

Social Prescribing connects people with local groups, activities and services to help improve their health and wellbeing. The Social Prescribing team will signpost clients from across Tameside to Reach Church's sessions, as there are good transport links and a bus stop right outside the church.

If you'd like to link up your group or activities with Social Prescribing, contact our team on 0161 830 6833 or email socialprescribing@actiontogether.org.uk

Visit our Social Prescribing page if you think you or someone you know would benefit from Social Prescribing. You can also make a self-referral to Social Prescribing online.


Community Team

Jon from our Community Team helped Reach Church secure funding to develop their outdoor space. By adding new decking they can now host outdoor activities like planting, growing food, drawing, and movie screenings.

Jackie from the church spoke to us about the impact the funding has made in this video.

Jon is based at Reach Church on Wednesdays from 9.30am - 11.30am. You can drop in to speak to him about local volunteering, funding for your ideas, Social Prescribing, and what's going on in the area.

Our teams are available across Tameside every week so you can speak to us about how Action Together can support your ideas. Visit our Tameside Community Team page to find out when we'll be at a venue near you.


Funding

Action Together supported Reach Church in applying for funding for their Tiger Tots project. They told us about the project and how the funding has helped:

"Tiger Tots is a baby and toddler group which is run on a term-time basis at Reach Church. Following the pandemic we have seen that many parents who attended now have children in primary school, and many new parents have been unable to attend classes due to them not running. Many parents who have attended have been so glad just to get out to socialise with their babies and toddlers and to watch their little ones interacting around other people.

"We wanted to attract more parents and carers by providing a service which caters well for babies and the early stages of development, to appeal to new mothers and to encourage them to come and enjoy the service. Getting to know other parents and carers can help to reduce social isolation, which has been heightened through lockdowns. Previously we simply had a couple of playmats and some small toys in our baby section, so we wanted to develop this further.

"We gratefully received funding from Action Together which allowed us to purchase several new items for our baby section, specifically aimed at encouraging development in babies including; a sensory tent, a jumparoo, a tummy time aid, a ball pool and a sensory table. These have now been made available for attendees for the last three weeks.

"We have had lots of positive feedback from parents who have attended in recent weeks, specifically that the new toys have enhanced the baby corner and have provided an easier space for their babies to develop skills such as sitting, tummy time, and sensory skills. One parent commented on how much their five month old was enjoying the sensory tent. We are hoping that the well-equipped baby area will continue to attract new parents who can enjoy socialising together whilst their babies enjoy use of the new toys."

Visit our Find Funding page to discover what funds are available for your project, or contact our team on 0161 339 2345 or development@actiontogether.org.uk


Find out more about Reach Church on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/reachstalybridge/

Or visit:

Reach Church                  

Kelvin Works

Huddersfield road

Millbrook

Stalybridge

SK15 3JL

I'm an Oldham Community Response Volunteer

A Community Response Volunteer supports the local community when facing crisis or in need of emergency support. Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic Community Response Volunteers have performed a variety of roles, including knocking on doors to check on residents, volunteering at food banks, and supporting the test and trace and vaccination programmes. We are currently looking for Vaccination Guidance and Support Volunteers.

Helen is a Community Response Volunteer in Oldham. She told us about her experience as a volunteer, and how this experience led to an NHS job role.

"I volunteered with the purpose of gaining work experience. I was hungry to be out of the house and doing something in my community. The food bank and the volunteers had to cope with me whilst I was studying through exams and assessments! They helped me to keep calm prior to an exam or an assessment, as I find timed exams and assessments a little stressful. Volunteering helped me to be distracted from my studies, which with doing the medical administration diploma, was at times stressful.

"One of the volunteers, who was a teacher, gave me tasks I could practice in preparation for a proofreading task I had to do as part of one of the assessments. The other volunteers at the food bank also helped me through the challenges I was facing during the pandemic, and especially during the third lockdown. It was wonderful to be able to help people and be out of the house. It was a good feeling to be described as a social care worker, when all I was doing was packing bags of food for people in need. 

"The volunteering with Action Together at the vaccination clinics, especially at the OBA Vaccination clinic in April, has indirectly got me a job. It helped me to be accepted at the interview stage for the NHS work-based academy, in partnership with the Manchester College. I used an example from the vaccination clinic in my interview, and this led to the pre-employment coordinator at Manchester Foundation Trust placing me in the Eye Hospital of the Manchester Royal Infirmary for my work placement. After 20 days of work placement the Eye Hospital decided they liked me and are willing to train me up more, but this time on the bank and in a paid capacity. At the time of writing I have done two days of paid work.

"Thank you for the experiences."

From Action Together, thank you Helen and all our Community Response Volunteers for your time, effort and energy in supporting the community response to the pandemic.

Find community response and other volunteering roles on our volunteering page.

Leanne's Social Prescribing Story

Action Together deliver the Tameside Social Prescribing service and Oldham Social Prescribing service. Social Prescribing is a way to help people improve their health and wellbeing by connecting them with local community groups and activities. It can be really effective for people experiencing anxiety, low mood, loneliness, or who have recently experienced life changing circumstances. In Tameside referalls can be made through a GP or direct to us on our online self-referral.

Leanne* was referred to our service through her local medical practice. One of our social prescribers told us Leanne's story:

Leanne was referred by the Doctor at her local practice as she was experiencing a lot of physical pain and psychological issues due to some anti-social behaviour from a neighbour. Leanne also wanted help managing her debts more effectively - she found herself ‘broke’ most of the time and was fed up.

Leanne’s family were supportive, but she was affected by her own mental health decline due to the circumstances she found herself in. Leanne was also increasingly worrying about her children’s busy lives. She thought that this was affecting their mental health, and this resulted in her not always being able to see her grandchildren, whom she missed.

Through person-centred conversations with Leanne, I discovered that she had tried to resolve her debt with Step Change. I reflected to Leanne that she has been motivated and determined to change this on her own, which was great!

Leanne said that she did find them very helpful and that she still had their contact details, and she agreed that she would ring them herself. Leanne also said that she had tried to get an appointment with Welfare Rights but was not able to book one due to the pandemic restrictions, as she wanted to appeal a PIP decision which resulted in her having this benefit stopped.

I discussed the support that Welfare Rights could offer, and acknowledged to her that it shows her resilience in being driven to want to appeal, as it meant going through the process again. Leanne consented to a referral to Welfare Rights for the PIP appeal and other debts that she wanted to address.

Leanne talked about her anxiety, and I discussed the support that she could gain through the MIND Peer Support Project, where a peer volunteer would support her to develop strategies to manage her anxiety and support her to access activities in the community. Leanne wanted to consider this option, so I sent her further information to read.

After this, I carried out a review call with Leanne to see if she wanted to be referred to MIND. She said that she liked the sound of this type of support and said that she needed to make a change. so she consented to this referra and I contacted Welfare Rights and MIND to refer Leanne.

At the review call Leanne told me that she had her PIP reinstated and this was helping greatly with her finances. Feedback from MIND said that Leanne was engaging well with her volunteer, and they do a mix of phone and face to face contact. Through this new trusting relationship further discussions had taken place where a referral was also made to Motiv8, which was accepted.

“I enjoy the company of the Peer Support Volunteer, we meet up for brews or a walk.”

In our closing appointment Leanne told me that she was working with Motiv8, who are supporting her with her finances and will be working with her in greater depth. Leanne also told me that she been doing pot painting with her Peer Support Volunteer at 4CT in Ashton and really enjoyed this. She plans to return there with grandchildren in the New Year, giving them both something lovely to do.

I learnt from Leanne to always empower someone to do the things that they are capable of and not erode their own skills or confidence in themselves. Leanne rang Step Change herself so I just had to direct her to the right channels for support. 

With the space to discuss her concerns in a face-to-face way that suits her, Leanne has been supported to access more specialist support. Also having a local person as a Peer Support Volunteer has meant that Leanne has had exposure to activities in her local area that she was unaware of, but now really enjoys and plans to continue accessing.

Find out more about Tameside Social Prescribing and make a self-referall online.

* Name changed

Student volunteering opportunities for Student Volunteering Week

It's Student Volunteering Week! #SVW2022 

Volunteering can be a great way to gain employability skills, meet people, and make a positive difference in communities. Roles are often flexible and can fit around your studies. There are also regular roles for people who'd like to volunteer somewhere longer term, and micro or one-off volunteering opportunities if you're short on time.

Action Together is the recognised volunteer centre for Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside boroughs of Greater Manchester. We connect people who want to volunteer with organisations looking for volunteers. Students in Manchester can register to volunteer with us and gain experience working in a nearby borough.

We've picked out some current volunteering roles below to showcase the opportunities out there for students, but there are lots more roles available.

You can use our volunteering portal to search for roles near you or linked to your areas of interest: https://actiontogether.org.uk/volunteering

 

TAMESIDE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

To view all of Tameside’s volunteer opportunities visit https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteering?geographical_area_944%5B%...

 

Corrie Primary School
Volunteer Gardeners

Corrie Primary school is looking to develop and transform a large section of their outdoor area into a scientific area so that the children can learn more about the natural world. For example, a sensory garden and pond.

Volunteers are needed to support with the maintenance of the school’s grounds. Tasks will include weeding, mowing the paths, planting seeds, bulbs and watering flowers.

There will also be an opportunity to work with the children whilst they get involved in some gardening, growing and wildlife related activities

The maintenance of the grounds will also take place over the school holidays when there are no staff in to look after the plants and local wildlife.

For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/128717

 

Bee-Amazed Musical Theatre Volunteer
Bee-Amazed Musical Theatre Group

Bee-Amazed is a Musical Theatre Group. They teach singing, dancing and drama to children aged 3-18 years. Each year they do a small Halloween and Christmas show plus a big yearly show at Hyde Festival Theatre. Volunteers will have an interest in Musical Theatre and preferably some experience and skills in the area. They may be asked to help individuals who may be struggling learning with script work, their lines. They may also be asked to help and encourage children who find it hard to concentrate, supporting them to keep focused. They may also be asked to stand in for people who are missing so that the script work can carry on with absent children.
Volunteers will be needed at any of the following venues and times:

  • Monday 4pm - 6pm at Heyrod Village Hall
  • Wednesday 4pm -7pm at Ridge Hill Baptist Church
  • Thursday 4.30pm - 8pm at Dukinfield Baptist Church

For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/126924

 

Stalybridge Celtic Junior Football Club

Coach
Join our team of volunteer coaches. Groups go from reception age up to year 6. Work alongside experienced coaches and progress to complete your FA level 1 award and eventually take your own group, funding will be available through the network to achieve the level one qualification.

Saturday mornings
For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/117754

 

Stalybridge Celtic Junior Football Club

Videographer

We would like someone with the appropriate skills to film and edit a series of video shorts. Interviewing people at the club, parents/carers of players, and players about what Stalybridge Celtic Juniors means to them.
For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/117755

 

Stalybridge Celtic Junior Football Club

Tuck Shop Assistant

The Soccer School has a thriving tuck shop selling, toast, hot drinks, snacks and sweets. We need tuck shop assistants to work in a small team serving children and adults.
For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/117753

 

Pack Assistant (Cub Scouts)
2nd Dukinfield Scouts

Cubs start small but think big, making the very most of what they have and seeking out adventures wherever they go. Throughout their journey, you’ll help them work towards a range of skill-boosting badges and awards. From athletics and astronomy to photography and pioneering, there’s something for everyone to get stuck into.
Tasks the volunteer will be required to do:

  • Running games and activities as part of weekly section meetings and other section events.
  • Assisting young people to achieve badges and awards.
  • Assisting with residential experiences for the section.
  • Assisting the section with taking part in a varied, exciting, and safe programme of activities.
  • For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/126920

 

PCrefurb

Digital Champion - The Digital Wellbeing Project

The charity PCrefurb are looking for volunteers to assist in the delivery of a major new digital literacy project supporting community members to get online and grow their digital skills. This project is being delivered by PCrefurb in partnership with the NHS. The aim of the Digital Wellbeing Project is to train up a network of Digital Champions who will help people to develop their digital skills and confidence in using devices to access online services. Clients will be taught how to use services in order to help with day-to-day activities and improve their health and wellbeing.

A lack of digital skills and access can have a huge negative impact on a person’s life causing:

  • poorer health outcomes and a lower life expectancy
  • increased loneliness and social isolation
  • less access to jobs and education It can mean:
  • paying more for essentials
  • an increased risk of falling into poverty
  • lack of a voice and visibility in the modern world
  • For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/120047

 

Ashton United in the Community
Match Day Steward

Match stewards play a vital role in ensuring the safety of spectators and visitors to the club on a match day. As a match steward, you are the public face of the club. You will often be the first point of contact with supporters.
Tuesday evenings and Saturday afternoons
For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/104284

 

Ashton United in the Community
Ground Maintenance Volunteer

Grounds Maintenance Volunteers are needed help to prepare the Ashton United Football Club grounds ahead of the next football season. Volunteers are needed to help with the ongoing maintenance of the grounds and the area around the club.
Tasks include grounds maintenance, general DIY, painting, cleaning, tidying, litter picking, gardening, general repairs, up keep of the pitch and stands
For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/121057

 

Ashton United in the Community
Grounds Preparation & Clearance Team Member

The club requires individuals to help with the preparation of the ground for a matchday and assistance with the clear up after a game.
Tuesday evenings and Saturday afternoons
Tasks the volunteer will be required to do:

  • To assist with the preparation of the ground for a match.
  • To ensure that the ground and its environs are tidy and presentable.
  • To assist the ground staff as required.
  • To assist with any deliveries.
  • To help clear the ground of litter and assist with making the ground secure post-match.

For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/104291

 

Ashton United in the Community
Ball boy/girl

The club requires assistance to recover balls kicked from the field of play and out of the stadium at Hurst Cross, in the lead up to, during, and at half time of matches.
Tasks the volunteer will be required to do:

  • Recovering balls that leave the field of play and returning them.
  • Engaging with home and visiting supporters presenting a warm and friendly atmosphere at home games

For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/104290

 

Feedo Needo
Feedo Needo Food Parcel Distribution Volunteer - Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester

Volunteers are need on Thursday evenings to help Feedo Needo to distribute food parcels to homeless people and people in need in Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester
Thursdays 5pm – 7pm
For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/128399

 

OLDHAM VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

To view all of Oldham’s volunteer opportunities visit
https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteering?geographical_area_944%5B%...

 

Church Army

Football Coach Volunteer
Currently there are 3 volunteer positions available – football coaches for Under 7s, Under 9s, and Under 11s. Time: Every Wednesday 3:20 to 5:30pm term time. If you have experience in coaching football, or even with other sports; or you have experience with children’s activities, and basic knowledge of football, then we want you!
For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/128265

 

Mahdlo Youth Zone

Volunteer Mentors
The mentoring scheme is designed to offer one to one support to young people aged 8-19 (or 25 if they have additional needs). Mentors come from all walks of life and share a willingness to help young people through providing guidance and assistance with any difficulties they may be experiencing. To be a Mentor, you do not need a youth work background, you just need to be a positive role model and are available to give one to two hours a week (which is flexible depending on the young person’s availability and needs, as well as your own). Mentors can make a huge difference to a young person’s life by quite simply being there. They must be able to give 1-2 hours per week and able to commit to supporting their young person over a 12 month period.
For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/127701

 

Oldham Libraries
Storytelling/Children’s Events Volunteer

To prepare and lead a children’s Storytime session, singing session or assist with story walks.
Tasks the volunteer will be required to do:

  1. Assist customer experience assistants with planning and preparation of story times
  2. Select new themes
  3. Help set up children’s area
  4. Take part in or lead story time
  5. Assist with Bounce & Rhyme and Baby days sessions
  6. Learn and sing nursery rhymes
  7. Help tidy up following session

For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/125718

 

Oldham Libraries

Code Club Volunteer
To support children, aged 9-11, during Code Club sessions. Help children use Code Club projects to make games, animations and websites. Teach a group of 10-15 children simple coding using laptops, tablets and BBC micro: bits. Confirm your own coding knowledge by teaching others.
Tasks the volunteer will be required to do:

  • Helping with a Code Club session in a local library
  • Setting up Coding Club sessions.
  • Helping to prepare sessions each week
  • Supporting Children with ICT throughout the term time period.
  • Getting children familiar with laptops, computers and micro:bits use in coding.
  • Help children make computer games, animations and websites using Scratch, HTML & CSS and Python.

For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/125544

 

Oldham Libraries
Front of House - Live@thelibrary Volunteer

  • To help alongside staff to welcome and support audience members during live@thelibrary events, ensuring productions run smoothly whilst looking after the audience.
  • Welcome audience members to events, guiding them to seats in the performance space or other parts of the Centre.
  • To check customer tickets on entry to the performance space.
  • Being the first point of contact for any audience enquiries or requests for information.
  • To assist, if required, with serving refreshments.
  • To sit within the performance space at show times and be on hand to offer assistance.
  • To assist with issuing and collecting event evaluations.
  • To assist the Duty Manager, a member of staff, with fire and health & safety procedure in order to minimize the risk of injury and accident.
  • To attend show and event briefings led by the Duty Manager at the start of every volunteering shift.
  • To be an active ambassador for the library service and an advocate for live@thelibrary in general.

For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/125716

 

Oldham Libraries

Reading Friends
Reading Friends volunteers meet with Reading Friends participants, either one-to-one or in a group, to use reading (in any format) as a way of sparking conversations.
Tasks the volunteer will be required to do:

For reading in a group setting:

  • Lead group reading activities and facilitate conversation using reading materials as a basis for discussion.
  • Make practical arrangements to identify and select suitable materials (books, newspapers, handling objects etc.) which focus on the groups’ interests.
  • Prepare other resources as necessary (chairs, tea, coffee etc.) in advance of each session.
  • Be aware of and sensitive to the needs of those in the group.
  • Ensure everyone is able to contribute to the session and feels welcomed and involved.
  • Lead on various themed activities (e.g. memory boxes, etc.).
  • Help to clean and tidy up following sessions.

For one-to-one home visiting:

  • Make practical arrangements to identify and select suitable materials which focus on the Reading Friend’s interests (books, newspapers etc.).
  • Visit the Reading Friend in their own home, on a regular basis.
  • Provide companionship and conversation using the reading materials as a basis for discussion.

For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/127242

 

Oldham Libraries

Digital Champion
To guide customers through basic IT courses hosted on the Learn My Way website and assist customers with their basic IT enquiries and support their use of digital devices.
Tasks the volunteer will be required to do:

  • Running LearnMyWay classes in a local library
  • Providing general IT assistance to customers.
  • Promoting membership of Oldham Library and Information Service.
  • Encouraging reading and the use of other facilities within their local library.
  • Training complete beginners to help them get started with computers, including keyboard and mouse skills, e-mail and the Internet.
  • Promoting lifelong learning and signpost to further programs available.

For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/126911

 

ROCHDALE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

To view all of Rochdale’s volunteer opportunities visit
https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteering?geographical_area_944%5B%...

 

Action Together. Community Warehouse – Rochdale
Community Warehouse Volunteer

The Community Warehouse Volunteer role is vital in helping us to deliver support to the people and communities that we serve. You will be responsible for the picking and packing, of food and care supplies, to enable the VCFSE sector in Rochdale to provide emergency supplies to the homes of people in crisis as a result of Covid-19. The warehouse is open on Mondays, 10am – 3pm you can join us just for a morning or afternoon – or both!
For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/127938

 

Get up and Grow Community Interest Company
Social Media Manager and Content Creator

Creation of content for social media accounts. Schedule content on social media. Engagement with basic enquiries and discussions via social media. Explore YouTube / video sharing platforms. Opportunity to do live social content creation at events.
Tasks the volunteer will be required to do:

  • Creation of content for social media accounts
  • Schedule content on social media
  • Engagement with basic enquiries and discussions via social media
  • Explore YouTube / video sharing platforms
  • Opportunity to do live social content creation at events

For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/125837
 

Get up and Grow Community Interest Company
Fundraising and Event support

Tasks the volunteer will be required to do:

  • Look out for fundraising opportunities
  • Help co-ordinate and promote fundraising events
  • Handling general enquiries
  • Opportunity to support at events

For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/125836

 

Link4life (Your Trust)

Inclusion and Disability Sports Volunteer
To enable people with moderate to complex learning disabilities to engage and enjoy the sport sessions. The need for high level support means that we would really benefit from support from volunteers in helping these individuals engage with and enjoy the session. This may include things like passing them a beanbag or ball to throw, retrieving balls or beanbags, standing a meter or so away to very gently throw a sponge ball to land on a racket that the carer is helping the individual to hold, or providing prompts and reminders on the activity (example “Anne, see if you can drop the beanbag onto the giraffe picture”) for those who struggle to understand. We rotate weekly between sports, so one week we might play Boccia (but with sponge balls and beanbags as well as Boccia balls), another week we might play rounders using a short tennis racket as a bat, and a sponge ball, and another week we might do football with a giant inflatable stability ball. The volunteer would need a reasonable physical health to be able to pick balls up from the floor and join in with the games.
For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/127096

 

1st Milnrow Scouts
Squirrel Scout Leader

To enable the Squirrel Scouts to enjoy new adventures; to experience the outdoors, interact with others, gain confidence and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/127031

 

1st Milnrow Scouts
Assistant Cub Scout Leader

To assist the Cub Scout Leader to enable the Scouts to enjoy new adventures, to experience the outdoors, interact with others, gain confidence and have the opportunity to reach their full potential
For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/127028

 

1st Milnrow Scouts
Assistant Beaver Scout Leader

To assist the Scout Leader with activities
For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/127006

 

Carers Hub - Rochdale
PenPal scheme - writing to Carers

To help combat loneliness and isolation for unpaid Carers. To write to Carers to give them something to look forward to each month. Some carers prefer the written word to emails, texts and video-calls. Would you like to be matched to a carer who would then exchange hand-written letters with you once a month… using good old-fashioned pen, paper and The Post Office?! This service might provide support at a time of loneliness, or it could simply provide a much-needed wellbeing boost (to both carer and volunteer!) Each PenPal Volunteer is provided with a stationery pack (including pen, writing paper and freepost envelopes) upon completion of training, so your involvement will cost you nothing but your time. The Volunteer Hub administer the freepost re-direction, so that the addresses for both you and the carer are kept confidential and un-shared.
For more information: https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/opportunity/125094

Sharing Cooperative Engagement

By Kerry Bertram (she/her)
Strategic Locality Lead, Action Together in Rochdale

Co-operative Engagement is Rochdale’s approach to giving information, involving and collaborating with local people, communities and stakeholders. I presented the process of developing and facilitating this approach at the national Government Events, Community Engagement conference and the role of Action Together as facilitator and convenor.

The delegates, mainly local government employees, were asked, “why is community engagement important?” 21% said that engagement enables us to transform the way we organise ourselves and interact around public problems. 50% said engagement empowers communities to address the issues they face.

My experience speaks to both of these answers, but I’d go a step further and state that engagement can address societal problems and solutions to these will only be found when we all (residents, communities, charities, faith-based groups, volunteers, public sector workers, health partners) cooperate.

Action Together is an infrastructure organisation for the voluntary sector. What that means is that we connect charities, community groups, volunteers, social enterprises and faith-based organisations, adding strength through training, investment and relationships. But we are also convenors, working in the space between systems, communities and power. We are good at bringing together, gathering perspectives around problems, facilitating solutions, collaborating and building momentum. We spend our energy with people, contributing to change that feels meaningful. And we get it wrong sometimes, so many lessons were taught through the pandemic – we tried to tell and learnt to listen; aimed to please and learnt to set boundaries; got defensive then walked in others shoes; started to blame then chose to contribute.

Partners in the development of the cooperative engagement approach are vital, varied and many. Rochdale CouncilHealthwatch Rochdale and multiple VCFSE colleagues worked with us to develop the approach and generously engaged as we tested early versions.

I shared some of the challenges, of engagement. We often have a conversation about what to do if you ask people what they want and then can’t deliver – is it better not to ask? We try to help partners understand the far reaching effects of scarcity and disadvantage, that often disengages communities from working with public sectors. We have seen in practice that work to align what communities want with what decision makers want through shared language can influence the biggest changes. With interest I heard how Brent Council have worked with communities that the council finds hard to reach, and I was encouraged by questions seeking guidance on methods to engage.

I shared the wins, like the Rochdale Community Warehouse and our borough's financial support offer bolstered by communities. These new infrastructure offers that benefit communities could not have been created without collective efforts, pooled budgets, shared data and honest multi-partner conversations.

Discussing spaces and places for engagement, the Inclusive Messaging Group, Equalities Assemblies, Women’s Services Network, Grassroots Gatherings and many more, I could picture the variety of people we've worked alongside. I remembered emotions, moments and experiences we had shared together through the pandemic and how connections between frontline workers, charities, decision makers and volunteers now felt so much more natural and equal – though we are always being challenged and learning.

Returning to the question of why we should engage, I’d like to share a final point. We are engaging, communicating all the time, if we like it or not, or if it’s the time in the commissioning cycle or not. If we are not holding a space for conversation between the people that our services are there to support, and the people delivering that support, then we are sending a powerful message. In answer to the delegate's question “how can we find out what people need?”, the answer is both simple and complex – talk to them.