"Volunteering is an activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment or individuals or groups other than (or in addition to) close relatives.” Salford CVS
Volunteers Week is our annual chance to say thank you, thank you, thank you to the thousands of people who volunteer in Salford.
From looking after people, animals or the environment, to sharing time, skills and kindness, volunteers make an incredible difference to our city all year round.
During the coronavirus pandemic we’ve also seen our fabulous Spirit of Salford coming to the fore.
Hundreds of people have volunteered their time to support our most vulnerable residents – delivering food, medicine, walking dogs or making and taking phone calls to check all is well and keep people from feeling lonely.
Others have used their skills to help people get online and keep in touch or sew or knit for our front-line workers. Some have used their daily exercise to pick up litter and keep our city looking good. Many have donated money and goods to help.
The theme of the week is Be inspired and inspire others and throughout the week we will share some of the stories we’ve heard lately. We hope you will add your stories and thanks to ours by tagging @SalfordCouncil on Twitter or Facebook.
Or why not inspire others to volunteer by telling them what volunteering means to you – even if you can’t do your normal role at the moment.
From Monday 8 June look out for our June issue of Life in Salford coming through your door or read it online with extra content on Issu. It’s packed with amazing stories of how Salford has responded to the pandemic.
For those who can’t volunteer at the moment because of coronavirus restrictions we know you’re keen to get back and we hope it won’t be too long before you can return.
For those who have volunteered for the first time we hope you will keep it up for as long as you can.
For anyone who has never volunteered before, please consider doing so, if not now, then in the future.
Salford needs you all!
Salford CVS is the city-wide organisation which supports the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector in our city with advice, training, development.
Check out their website for ways to support Salford.
Donate to local food banks via adding a few extra items to donation points in local supermarkets or find out about specific appeals.
Donate money if you can to Salford4Good, our local charity which helps support VCSE groups working to meet the health and well being needs of the most vulnerable in Salford. All funds raised are spent locally.
Donate your time by being a good neighbour, signing up to be an emergency response volunteer or check out the many volunteering opportunities that will still be available as we ease back on pandemic restrictions.
If you’re good with needles, why not volunteer to knit or sew for good causes?
Salford Royal is looking for knitters to create pairs of identical teddy bears. One bear is given to the patient and the other to a loved one to link them together while apart. If you can help, download the pattern below and then post your bears to the Pam Woods Suite, Salford Royal, Stott Lane, Salford, M6 8HD.
Please make sure the bears are clean and in a clear plastic bag, clearly labelled with the date they were posted.
Lots of charities also welcome hand knitted donations such as hats, blankets or toys. You can find several on the UK Hand Knitting website or search Facebook for knitting groups you can join.
Sewers need not feel left out. See The Sewing Directory for ideas for charities which would welcome your donations.
Don’t forget, you can always make items now and store them to pass on in the future when charities resume their activities.
We can all do our bit by disposing of waste properly and recycling as much as we can – but why not volunteer to keep look after your local area?
Salford Street champions
Litter, fly tipping, dog fouling are all things that drive us all crazy but Street Champions help take action to get problems solved.
They help tackle environmental issues affecting their neighbourhoods by reporting them to the council or other agencies. These include graffiti, missed bin collections, potholes, broken street lights, anti-social behaviour and noise.
Anyone can join and we’re particularly looking for Champions in Irlam and Cadishead.
Remember – if you have any evidence of who’s responsible for flytipping, please report it so the council or other organisations can investigate with a view to prosecuting.
Salford Litter Heroes
Fed up with people spoiling our streets and green spaces with litter and flytipping, a group of local residents has banded together to clean up Salford.
Normally they run group litter picking sessions – and are hoping to re-introduce safe, socially distanced litter picks in the future - but for now members are going out individually or with members of their own household to carry on the good work.
Look out for their new guide to setting up a litter picking group in Salford which will be published on World Environment Day on 5 June.
Age Friendly Salford is always looking for volunteers to be Volunteer Wellbeing Champions.
Volunteers can help older residents to get online and learn new digital skills to keep in touch with family, friends and the world around them. They will also support conversations and activities in care homes, when possible to do so and start conversations with others about health and wellbeing.
Street Support Network is a registered charity which aims to link organisations from across Greater Manchester which need help with people who can donate their time or items to support.
See what they need and how you can help.
With a poster
Why not print out this poster – or design your own and put it in your window from Monday 1 June to Sunday 7 June to let our fantastic Salford volunteers know we’re grateful for all they do?
On social media
Look out for stories about our city’s amazing response to the coronavirus pandemic. Follow @SalfordCVS and @SalfordCouncil on Facebook and Twitter as we share stories all week about our city’s amazing response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Inspire others by sharing what volunteering means to you – whether it’s something you do or how you’ve been helped by a volunteer #VolunteersWeek #SpiritOfSalford.
As we move out of isolation and into the next stages of living with coronavirus more volunteering opportunities will open up. To find opportunities please visit Salford CVS to search their database or see our page on volunteering.
Here are a few ways to get involved to bear in mind for the future.
Keeping Salford green
Did you know 60% of Salford is green, open space? A lot of hard work goes into keeping it looking good which means opportunities for volunteers.
Our voluntary rangers carry out a variety of practical conservation work at sites across the city such as community clean ups and managing woodland. They have both weekday and weekend opportunities and volunteers can also take a qualification.
Bridgewater Canal volunteers also work on transforming and improving the environment around the canal but get involved in heritage projects, community events and activities and ways of telling the canal’s amazing story.
We’ve all been appreciating our parks and greenspaces more recently and our many friends groups work hard to keep them looking good and improve them for the future.
Why not get in touch now and see what their future plans are for your area? It’s a great way to make new friends and keep active too.
Support your local community association
Many parts of Salford have their own community association which works to improve their area, organise events and bring local people together – and they are all run by volunteers.
Monton Village Community Association, for example, has a gardening group which keeps Monton Green and the flower beds on the main roundabout neat and tidy and is always looking for new volunteers to get involved.
The Association organises regular litter picks, fund raising, social and community events throughout the year which need planning, organising and support on the day. It also works to support local businesses and holds regular monthly meetings where people can suggest ideas to improve the village or raise concerns.
Activities like this may be on pause for now but why not see if your area has a group and check out their future plans? Search MyCity Salford directory for community associations or groups in your local area.
Be a trustee
Being a trustee is one of the most important roles in a charity and a great way to use your skills or learn new ones.
Trustees are people who give their time, expertise and enthusiasm to make sure their charity is well run and following the law. They help make sure the charity is doing what it was set up to do, that its finances are in order and it spends money sensibly to support its aims and make decisions about the goals the charity is trying to achieve.
Charities welcome people with financial, human resources, management and marketing skills but are also keen to recruit young people to grow a new generation of young leaders.
Look out for opportunities through the Salford CVS website.