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                                                                                             12th January 2024


Hello {$firstname}

Make 2024 the year to Volunteer! 

Happy New Year to you all!  Welcome to our first monthly newsletter of the year. 

There are plenty of volunteer positions available for 2024; check out the ones below and have look on our website for a full list: www.varb.org.uk 

If you are registered with us but your circumstances or information has changed, please email: [email protected]

Lastly, if you haven't already done so, please follow our accounts on: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin and share our messages when you see them. The more people that see our messages, the more people we will be able to help.

Thank you for your continued support.

The VARB Team

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      Do you know we have over 300 volunteering opportunities on our website that are searchable by postcode, interests, activities and the times you can offer? 

      If you can't find what you're looking for in this newsletter please head on over to our website.


      Click on the opportunity title to find out more. If you are interested, then you can make a "Quick Enquiry" using the black button on our website.  


       💻  Surrey Coalition of Disabled People (SCoDP) runs a project called Tech Angels that provides people with access to technology and training. Eligible adults in Surrey are loaned a touchscreen device, if needed, and are then matched to a Tech Angel. Tech Angel volunteers around Surrey visit these Tech Members at home and provide face-to-face basic digital support to help them access the internet.


      💼Package of Sunshine (CIC) organised not for profit community events that aimed to promote our diversity, enable inclusivity, and encourage community cohesion.  Currently they are looking to change their company status from a C.I.C. (Community Interest Company) into a C.I.O. (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) as with their three main goals mentioned above, they are looking to evolve their services into a community hub.  They are currently recruiting for four Trustees with the necessary knowledge, experience and know how in this field to join them towards helping build a stronger community. 


      🏢 The Lucy Rayner Foundation objectives are to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of depression in young adults, typically school leavers/university students and graduates.  They are looking for Volunteer Coordinators who will recruit, support & develop a team of volunteers, to enhance their work supporting young people.


      🛠️ Banstead Repair Café - help launch a Repair Café in Banstead to make repair local for all those in and around the area. Repair Café use community repair skills to help people repair and reuse their stuff, without charge, to reduce household costs and reduce waste. They are looking for Repairers & Menders to join them  and would love you to come and share your skills and expertise in their project. If there is something that you are good at fixing, they can probably match you with great opportunities to share your knowledge and passion with café visitors, and perhaps with fellow volunteers.


       ☕ The Friends of East Surrey Hospital support the hospital by providing equipment and amenities for the comfort and welfare of patients, staff and visitors, and by supporting the voluntary work of the hospital. Funds come from the profits made at their coffee shop, situated in the East Entrance. They are looking for Coffee Shop Helpers, the role involves interacting with staff, patients and visitors, serving hot and cold drinks and snacks, taking payments (card/cash), general tidying and cleaning tasks and ensure machines/fridge is stocked and clean.


        📱 Be My Eyes is a free mobile app with one main goal: to make the world more accessible for blind and low-vision people. The app connects blind and low-vision individuals with sighted volunteers from all over the world through a live video call.  As a sighted volunteer you can help just by installing the Be My Eyes app. A blind or a low-vision user may need help with anything from checking expiry dates, distinguishing colours, reading instructions or navigating new surroundings.


         🏢  The Gatton Trust are looking for Education Assistants to assist with school groups who visit the park. Volunteers will engage with the children and their Teachers or Carers and help them with different activities. These tend to be environmentally linked topics around the park such as Pond Dipping, Bug Hunting and Camp Building, or more light hearted topics for the younger ones (fairies and wizards, fun with mud! etc).


         🎒 3rd Banstead Scout Group are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to join their team running a Beaver Colony at their Scout Group on a Monday between 16:30 and 18:00 during the school term. The role involves supporting the planning and delivery of a safe, exciting and stimulating balanced programme to a group of 16-24 children aged 6-8 years old.  Also the operation of the Beaver Colony working with others from across the Scout Group.


         🎵 Include Project is a choir for people with and without communication or learning difficulties - they use Makaton signs and other inclusive communication techniques when they sing and rehearse. They are looking for Communication Support volunteers to generally assist at their Choir sessions on Wednesday evenings in Merstham. The role will include: Welcoming members and supporting them to enjoy the choir, helping set up and tidy away resources, support their Speech and Language activities and joining in the fun!


        👨🏼‍🏫 The Orpheus Centre is a specialist further education college and charity working to support young disabled adults, who are passionate about the arts, to achieve their potential and lead independent lives.  They are looking for Arts Award volunteers to support, encourage and motivate learners in their timetabled lessons to achieve desired learning outcomes as well as assisting tutors with ad-hoc tasks to support the delivery of lessons.


         🏡 The Brigitte Trust are looking for Home Support volunteers.  When cancer, or any life-threatening illness is diagnosed, a Brigitte Trust volunteer offers emotional support and practical help at home. You will visit the same client each week and give your time to listen, as well as practical tasks like transport and shopping trips… or even a chance to go out for a drive and a cup of tea together. Offering this time to listen can be the greatest support of all at a time of anxiety and change.


        🏕️ Reigate District Scouting’s campsite, located on Reigate Hill, a small, secluded site offering camping and activity opportunities to young people in Scouting, Guiding and DofE Groups. Although small, it has great plans, providing a wealth of learning and adventure. They are looking for an Assistant Warden to support the day to day running of the site and future development plans.

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                Make 2024 the year to volunteer!  If you have a New Year's resolution check list, volunteering will hopefully check them all off.  Volunteering can be a great way to meet people, learn new skills, have fun, give something back, improve your mental and physical health and wellbeing. But don't just take our word for it! Click here to watch our short video and hear from our volunteers about what they get out of volunteering.

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                VARB launched a new online service called ‘Meet the Organisation’ last summer. The events are a great way for you to get more in-depth information about particular organisations, and learn about their volunteer roles. Even if you attend the event there is no pressure to sign up to anything, but it might help you decide whether a volunteering opportunity is the right one for you. The events are all online, a representative from an organisation will attend and possibly a current volunteer present, talking about the work of the organisation and how volunteers are involved. This is also the perfect place to come with any questions you might have before you start your volunteering journey!


                Upcoming ‘Meet the Organisation’ Events


                Please click on the organisation's name to register and to find out more about them. Once registered you will get an email containing your confirmation. VARB will be in touch in due course with a link to join us on Zoom.


                MENTELL - Wednesday 31st January 2024 at 11am

                    Past 'Meet the Organisations' Events


                    EAST SURREY DOMESTIC ABUSE SERVICES (ESDAS) - click here to meet Lorraine who is the Volunteer & Community Engagement Manager. Listen to Lorraine's presentation where she tells you about the support they offer to survivors of domestic abuse and how you can get involved as a volunteer.


                    Click here to watch all our past events on our YouTube channel.

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                    Furnistore was founded in 1995 to meet a specific need in our community.  Since then they have worked tirelessly to find new homes for good quality pre-owned furniture, appliances, bric-a-brac and soft furnishings. In their iconic green Furnistore van, they collect a wide range of different items donated by members of the public from all over East Surrey. (Volunteer Van Drivers are needed). Most of these items are of high quality and in good condition but, if needed, they are shown some love and attention by their Warehouse volunteers before they are made freely available to those in need or offered on sale at an affordable price. They do not believe that, just because an individual is facing financial difficulties, they should receive poor quality or sub-standard furniture or household items.

                    Their first priority is to gift items that they collect, free of charge, to families most in need in our community. This need may have arisen due to a council housing situation, homelessness, refuge, or because individuals or families have fallen on hard times.  They are also looking Admin volunteers to answer the phones (especially on Monday morning's and Wednesday afternoon's 2.30pm-4pm); responding to messages received via email or phone, including booking in collections and deliveries. Travel fares on public transport will be reimbursed and a light lunch provided.

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                      Tools with a Mission are a Christian charity that collects unwanted usable tools, refurbishes them, sorts them into trade tool kits and sends them to the developing world for livelihood creation.  They are holding a virtual volunteering event on Thursday 18th January 10am-11am, 14:30-15:30 and 18:30-19:30Click here for more information and how to register.

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                      Work Stress Solutions is a registered charity supporting people with any vulnerability to gain, retain, education and employment.  They are providing FREE talk therapy (Counselling) sessions for individuals living in the Tadworth (Preston Manor) and Banstead area.  Click here for more information and how to register.

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                      My Green Future - a 12 week environmental volunteer programme.

                      • Are you aged 18-24?
                      • Considering a career in the environmental sector?
                      • Looking to gain valuable skills and practical experience?
                      • Living in Surrey?
                      • Not already volunteering, studying or working in the environmental sector?
                      • Able to attend every Tuesday for 12 weeks from 20th February 2024?

                      A fun and informative 1-day a week programme where you will find out what it is like volunteering for Surrey Wildlife Trust, Surrey Hills Society, National Trust, and Surrey County Council. At various locations across Surrey, you will learn practical conservation skills, how to safely use tools, habitat management techniques, wildlife identification skills, and much more! No experience necessary.  Click here to download more information and to check your eligibility. 

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                      Bereavement Support for Professionals and Key Volunteers (delivered by Princess Alice Hospice) - Thursday 18th January or Thursday 15th February, 11.30am - 2.30pm at St Mark's Church, Great Tattenhams. (These 2 days are the same so only sign up for one or the other).

                        These two, three hour courses will help you be better at:

                        • Understanding grief and loss
                        • Active listening and how to ask appropriate questions about bereavement
                        • How to offer appropriate comfort, help and advice
                        • Mental health issues associated with grief and loss
                        • Relevant local and national support groups.

                        Click here for more information and to register your place.

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                        Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum (SMEF) - Chief Executive Officer, Closing 17th January.

                        The Westway Community & Wellbeing Centre - Charity Manager.

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                        This newsletter has been sent by Voluntary Action Reigate & Banstead. We are a charity that supports volunteers and the local voluntary sector with information, networking, and volunteer matching. Charity no 1138897, Company no 07217319.

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